Wings & Wheels nets $22K for charity

Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:11 PM EDT



PLAINVILLE — Organizers of the first Wings & Wheels event were pleased that they raised enough money to give two local nonprofits a total of $22,000.

“There was an outpouring of support from the community and from the vendors,” said Town Council member Scott Saunders, one of the organizers, at a ceremony this week at the Plainville Community Food Pantry. The pantry and the Petit Family Foundation each received $11,000.

Mike Turcotte and Jeff Adams thought up the event and brought it to Saunders, who assisted them with the planning. They had help from their wives, Andrea Saunders, Coreen Turcotte and Daphne Adams. The event included a large classic car show, airplanes, helicopters, food and music.

Maggie Carlin, president of the food pantry’s board of directors, thanked the Wings & Wheels Committee for the contribution. “We want to help people take care of themselves,” she said. “That’s what the money will go toward.” 

The food pantry provides groceries, toiletries, household items, clothing, emergency energy assistance, crisis intervention and referral services and special holiday and back to school items for those in need.

Susie Woerz, director of the pantry, said the donation is especially welcome because the pantry has lost some regular grants this year.

Dr. William Petit also thanked the committee.

“It was a great inaugural event,” he said. “Thank you for putting us front and center with the food bank. Small groups like yours make all the difference. You are all part of the change.”

Petit and his parents, Plainville residents Bill and Barbara Petit, started the foundation after Petit’s wife and daughters were killed in a home invasion in Cheshire. The foundation funds programs that promote education, search for cures for chronic illnesses and help those affected by violence.

Reggie L’Hereux, president of the Bristol Auto Club, which provided vehicles for the car show at Wings & Wheels, said members contributed an additional $100 toward the Petit Family Foundation.

Saunders thanked everyone involved, from the sponsors and participants to the high school students who made the signs. He hopes to make Wings & Wheels an annual event.

“We started planning this less than five months ago,” he said. “The event came off very well.”

Diane Church can be reached at (860) 584-0504, ext. 7250, or