Aroostook County car show helps raise funds for the Hemophilia Alliance

By Natalie De La Garza, Aroostook Republican and News
Posted July 17, 2013, at 7:11 p.m.

LIMESTONE, Maine — Nearly 70 cars participated in the first Race at the Base Car Show, raising funds for the Hemophilia Alliance of Maine and complementing the activities of the annual land speed races that also occurred over the weekend.

The show was organized by officials of the nonprofit “Blood Brothers and Sisters,” a group founded in February by Joe and Lianna Lapierre of Limestone that is dedicated to bringing together families afflicted by bleeding disorders.

“When we created Blood Brothers and Sisters, we knew the majority of what we did was going to benefit the Hemophilia Alliance of Maine, but we didn’t want to limit it just to HAM,” Lianna Lapierre explained, expressing that the group is also interested in helping out families affected by hemophilia who need items like medical alert bracelets, for example.

As their first big fundraiser for Blood Brothers and Sisters, Lianna admitted they were a little nervous for the car show … and those fears dispelled with excellent results.

“We had said ‘what if it’s only 30 cars?’ … but it ended up nearly 70 cars,” she said. “The turnout was great … I think the location was great because people could go to the land speed races, and people who were at the land speed races could come here.”

Attendees expressed their agreement with plenty of positive feedback, such that the Lapierres and their dedicated committee of volunteers are looking to host the car show again next year in conjunction with the land speed races.

Ron and Sheila Dionne of Madawaska were two of such participants who enjoyed the race and the show being held together — and aside from happy memories from the day, the couple went home with a huge trophy signifying best in show for their 1967 Pontiac GTO.

“We loved it — it was an ideal place for it,” Ron said.

Not only did the Dionnes love the Limestone car show, they liked helping out with fundraising efforts for the Hemophilia Alliance of Maine and even picked up a T-shirt to support the cause.

With a vaiety of sponsors, perhaps the smallest sponsor has gained a little fame in the region recently — as little Abbie St.Peter has been selling lemonade cup by cup to benefit Blood Brothers and Sisters since school got out.

“I saw my friend on TV and I felt bad, so I just wanted to [help],” St. Peter said, referring to her friend Evan LaPierre, son of Joe and Lianna, who has hemophilia. “I started raising money for him.”

When asked what kind of lemonade she sold, St.Peter said she sold the lemon lemonade and when people asked her why she was selling the beverage, she told them she just wanted to do it.

Of course, little Abbie wouldn’t have been successful without the help of her sisters, Annie and Alyssa.

“When I was feeling down and I didn’t get anybody [to buy lemonade], then Annie bought some — and then my whole family started to!” Abbie said.

Annie ended up purchasing around 12 cups of lemonade to help keep her sister’s spirits up — and it was truly a sisterly team-effort, as Alyssa had to help her drink the dozen cups.

A total amount fundraised through the car show was unavailable at time of print, but there were two platinum sponsors that each contributed over $1,000 — Grand Rental Station and the elementary students of the Limestone Community School.

With nearly 70 cars in the show, 53 awards were given out — and one of them is headed over 400 miles away.

Driving the longest distance to showcase their vehicle was Aaron Fazio-Rathburn who, accompanied by his friend and fellow car-show-enthusiast Derek Dexter, trekked all the way up north from Rhode Island in his 84 Aztec pickup truck — which, thanks to his modifications, gets about 50 miles to the gallon.

The friends were in The County visiting Fazio-Rathburn’s father in southern Aroostook, and when they heard about the car show they thought “why not?”

“It’s not bad,” Fazio-Rathburn said. “A little disorganized and a little bit smaller than the ones we usually go to — but you know what? It’s been great,” he added. “There are a lot of nice people in the area, and that’s something I’ve always thought about northern Maine.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/17/news/aroostook/aroostook-county-car-show-helps-raise-funds-for-the-hemophilia-alliance/ printed on July 26, 2014