Middletown, New Jersey – Despite the challenges of 98 degree temperatures, high humidity, stolen event signs, and a major crises leaving most in the area without clean water, the Middletown Lions Club has continued to be a ‘driving force’ behind local charities with their successful presentation of ‘Classics For A Cause’ Auto Show & Motorcycle Meet, held on Saturday, June 30th at the Middletown Shopping Center. The judged event was the first for the newly-formed Middletown Lions Club Foundation and generated close to $5,000. “While the club has hosted an annual auto show and motorcycle meet for the last seven years, this year was different,” noted Lion President and ‘Classics For A Cause’ Chair Lori Anne Oliwa, who thought of the creative name. “The board of directors decided to form a unique 501C3 foundation, and at my urging, agreed that the event should benefit a number of local charities that do critically-important work as opposed to just one charity,” she added.

Photo: Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa, left, accepts an award from New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commissioner Raymond P. Martinez for her year of service to the club and for her management of ‘Classics For A Cause’ Auto Show & Motorcycle Meet

     Despite the heat, over 50 cars, motorcycles, and trucks braved the blacktop temperatures to support the cause and to enjoy vendors, face-painting for the children, and entertainment provided by disc jockey Stephen Munger of No Limit Entertainment, who kindly donated his services. State Senator Joseph Kyrillos, who is a longtime member and supporter of the Lions Club, greeted attendees and spoke emotionally about the level of community service provided by the club. “The Middletown Lions Club has done so very much for this community,” Kyrillos noted. Middletown Township Committeemen Gerard Scharfenberger and Kevin Settembrino attended despite multiple commitments, greeting the crowd and assisting with the award presentations. Top-notch entertainer John ‘Johnny T.’ Tarangelo, formerly of popular doo wop group The Mystics, performed especially for the Lions and delighted many of his lifelong fans with the hit ‘Hush-A-Bye.’ Adding to the atmosphere was professional announcer Joe Cisneros, Middletown, who fascinated the crowd with his ‘million-dollar’ voice.

     Vehicle owners were thrilled at the appearance of Commissioner Raymond P. Martinez, chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, who attended to show support for the club and to view the classic cars, especially. Commissioner Martinez presented Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa with a special award – a license plate which simply said ‘thanks’ - to commemorate and memorialize her service and commitment to the club and her year as only the second woman president of the Middletown Lions Club. “This is wonderful,” said Oliwa, who was surprised at the special award and noted that her year as president was one of the most rewarding times of her life. “The moment is bittersweet also as this is actually the last official day of my presidency,” added Oliwa.

     Funds generated from the event will be donated to a number of Lions-approved local charities. Benefactors included the Garden State Land Surveyors Alliance, a platinum-level sponsor; Colonial American Bank and No Limit Entertainment, gold-level sponsors; Allied Fire & Safety Equipment Company Inc. and Beacon Awards & Signs, silver-level sponsors; and The New Monmouth Diner, Paduano, DiTommaso & Golda LLC, Columbia Bank, Maser Consulting, P.A., Fastrak Oil & Lube, and Investors Bank, bronze-level sponsors.

     The Middletown Lions Club was chartered in 1946 under Lions International and is part of the largest charitable service organization in the world. The 70-member club meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month and is engaged in charitable, civic and service initiatives within the local community including free vision screenings for local school districts, a free eyeglass, eye exam, and hearing aid program for those who qualify financially, and a luncheon program at The Kitchen at St. Marks Food Pantry, Keansburg, along with other initiatives. Information is available by viewing the club website at www.mlions.org or by contacting Lion Chairwoman of the Board and Membership Director Lori Anne Oliwa by email at LoriAnne@TheWriteAngles.com or by phone at (732) 757-7443.