Sunshine and record attendance – Launch into Spring 2014

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Photo by Graham Jardine

Launch into Spring kicks off a great 2014 season

By Mark Solomon, UCR Open House Chair (from Provinz June 2014 page 20)


The weather forecast called for sunshine and 12 degrees, but with memories of driving through wet snow for last year’s event, I was quite happy knowing that the entire event could be held indoors. Our host–427 Auto Collision at Evans and Kipling in Toronto, had so much room we could hold two shows inside. We had separate areas for the show and shine, parts swap and the vendor and club information sections.

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Photo by Graham Jardine

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Photo by Eshel Zweig

The forecast was dead on and we were blessed with a gorgeous day where everyone decided to get out early. The open house was to start at 10 am but by 9 am—and despite the Gardiner being closed—the front parking lot was already filled with Porsche cars. We managed to block off both entrances leading to the front of the building to avoid parking chaos. The off-duty police officer wasn’t scheduled until 10:30 am so our club president Walter Murray and UCR member Anibal Claudino made sure our visitors found the east entrance to the expansive parking lot located in the rear of the building. The eight confirmed show and shine participants grew to 10, then room ran out in the designated indoor area. An impromptu show and shine was created just outside this area where Porsche cars were lined up in the parking lot side by side, like a red carpet inviting our guests inside.

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Photo by Eshel Zweig

Kathleen Wong, our Socials Co-Chair who had worked tirelessly to help with the day’s arrangements and her nephew Matthew Lam, along with Brian Borison, a UCR Instructor, manned the welcome table. The volume of visitors was so significant it was even hard to give away a free draw prize ticket. In no time at all, the building was crowded with visitors and by the end of the day, we calculated we had over 400 attendees, a club record. Our wonderful hosts, the D’Alessandro brothers, supplied a fantastic lunch feast with all proceeds going to The Children’s Wish Foundation. John D’Alessandro served up some fantastic ribs to complement the other BBQ menu items available and I can testify that the grilled peppers sure added a spicy kick to the food.

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Photo by Graham Jardine

The PCA Executive council, led by Manny Alban, President, had held their quarterly meeting in Toronto the day before and they took the time to visit and interact with our members. Thank you Manny.

We thank our vendors for their great support, including Porsche Cars Canada, who displayed two cars, and Ernie and Margaret Jakubowski,who brought two race cars. Margaret’s track car has never looked so clean. There were Ultimate Transportation Products, Better Distribution, Armchair Motorist and Dent Doctor. And rounding it out was our great dealer supporter, Downtown Porsche. Our UCR goodie store, run by Andy Hunt, had a great selection of UCR merchandise and sales were brisk. Our sincere thanks to all.

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Photo by Graham Jardine

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Photo by Graham Jardine

The club event chairs were also kept busy answering countless questions in regards to club activities which I, for one, can say are all exciting to be a part of. Our thanks to Angie and Mark Herring for membership, John Adam from DE, Mario Marrello from Autocross and The Street Survival Program, Sajjad Butt our Rallymaster, David and Anne Forbes from Fun Runs and Mike Edmonds and Mick Oliveira for the Club Race. Also thanks to Mike Welker our Director of Communications for setting up the parts swap and for his help in making the event happen.

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Photo by Eshel Zweig

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Photo by Eshel Zweig

And let’s not forget our remarkable hosts the D’Alessandro family. Lorenzo, whose organizing talents were second to none, his brother, Frank, who could make anything happen and their younger brother John whose height was a godsend for putting up signs and his talents on the BBQ. Watching over it all was the family patriarch Frank, who started the business over 50 years ago. An incredibly genuine family whose warm welcome made this event so special. Our sincere thanks to all of the clan.

Some long-time members and our President stated that this was probably one of the most successful Open Houses ever. Here’s hoping that next year will be even better!

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