Safe Net Ministries holds annual Car and Truck Show
By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Aug. 7, 2013
Safe Net Ministries held its sixth annual Car and Truck Show on Aug. 3 at John the Jackman, offering a full day of impressive vehicles to explore, music, food, fun, trophies, door prizes, raffles and more. The event was sponsored by RacedayCT.com, with all proceeds benefiting Safe Net Ministries. For admission, spectators could either choose to donate $1 or bring a canned food item.
Safe Net Ministries, Inc., was founded by Keith and Laura Marin in 2004. After realizing there was a greater need for assistance to the community than the town of Stafford was able to provide, they started Safe Net with the help of several local churches. The ministry is a volunteer-based organization that functions on donations of food, clothes and money. The group runs Elsie’s House on Main Street in Stafford and opens the food pantry upon request of individuals that are looking for help or wishing to drop off donations. On the average, the ministry helps approximately 450 people every other Saturday. Last year, it distributed more than 100,000 pounds of food to Stafford residents in need.
Each year, more than 120 cars and trucks display their vehicles at the Car and Truck Show. However, due to possible rain, there were only 47 vehicles in attendance this year. “We were hoping for a stronger turnout, but I think the threat of rain is keeping a lot of exhibitors away,” said Keith Marin. “Even though we have fewer vehicles, there are some really awesome cars and trucks to see and we have had over 300 spectators.”
Still, the lower attendance did not dissuade Marin from his mission. “We just really want and need to make a difference in people’s lives, and this is just one way that we receive money to do that,” he said. “The need for help is growing in Stafford. Good people just need a helping hand, and that is what we are trying to do.”
Safe Net is offering a special meal program for kids as the summer winds down. “During the weeks of August 12 and 19, children are in between town day care and school. For those two weeks, many children will need meals to get them through the day. That is why we have a kids’ meal program called ‘Breakfast and Beyond.’ It is available to children from preschool to high school,” said Laura Marin, the director of the ministry’s food cabinet. “For many children, this will likely be the only food that they will have those days. The food packets will include nutritious items such as milk, juice, cheese, etc.”
Several repeat participants were back for another year. Jamie Feagain brought his 1970 F100 pick up. “This is my third year at this event. It makes me feel good to know I am helping out in some way,” said Feagain.
“This is a really great charity. I have been coming here since they started the car show six years ago. I know I’ll be back next year, too,” said Scott Kowalyshyn of Scott’s Karpentry. “I love bringing my 1937 Chevy truck here.”
Burgers and hot dogs were sizzling on the grill for guests to purchase. Volunteers Lauren and Sarah Chickosky, Felicity Roche, Nancy Goldstein and Elizabeth Burns offered their support by working at the raffle booths that were available for fundraising as well.
Although all proceeds go directly to the ministry, they are still in need of more volunteers as well as donations. If anyone would like to donate money to the ministry, donations can be mailed to Safe Net Ministries, P.O. Box 93, Stafford Springs, CT 06076. To donate food or clothes, local businesses accept donations at The Chocolate Moose or Three Graces Vintage, or visit Elsie’s House on Main Street. Safe Net Ministries can also be reached at 860-851-9987.