Yes, it truly “takes a village…” and for this year’s 2012 Danville d’Elegance weekend of charity events, our little village grew from the mere historic old town of Danville, to one of global interaction and connectivity.
You see our success came not just from our village of more than 200 volunteers that so transparently handle each and every detail (of which they began last year the day the weekend ended!) — nor did it come additionally from our Canadian partner, Intelliga Communications, with its gift of website design, Facebook interaction and continuous outreach of marketing support — or even from companies based afar, like Ralliart Racing in Florida that generated our wonderful driving route for the “Tour,” and the beautiful artistry and illustrative “Tour” design elements that were created by Paul Chenard in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
While our village was enhanced by global auction contributors from the likes of the world-famous Orient Express and individual luxury hotel properties like the Mandarin Oriental and the St. Regis that donated packages in Rome, Venice, London, Prague and Barcelona – all of which are now committed to our cause and in sharing our success for it with their own clientele – we had an even greater gift.
It was the “inhabitants” of our village – those supporters that came throughout the weekend in droves… the ones that share our passion for cars, and more so to help support our collective desire to eradicate Parkinson’s disease and for now, benefit Parkinson’s research and patient care – this is where our village became a true community.
Our supporters this year were many, evidenced by the first time we’ve “sold out” of each of our three programs – the “Tour d’Elegance,” Blackhawk Dinner Gala/Auction, and the grand finale, the Danville Concours d’Elegance.
This year, something special was in the air – we smelled it at the Lafayette Park Hotel very early Saturday morning when the first of our drivers rolled up under the banner memorializing Phil Hill, one of our “Legends of Racing, Heroes of Parkinsons.”
The beautiful entries ranged from vintage Alfas, MGs, Austin Healy’s and Lancias, to modern day Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris, and Aston Martins. And after a stunningly scenic, yet energetic drive through the backroads of Napa, our “touristas” enjoyed the view and waited patiently until the 1918 Chevrolet D5 V8, driven by Luke Rizzuto, came up the hill to our lunch at the exclusive Cardinale Winery – and then, the applause erupted.
With our group of 80, the specialness continued as we not only explored Cardinale, tasted the finest of their vintage, and dined on a lovely lunch – but heard the gracious words of Rick Tigner, CEO of Cardinale and the Kendall Jackson family of wineries, who has joined our village to support this very cause. He introduced us to his wife Wendy, who too is battling with Parkinson’s disease, and we shared her spirit among other attendees also inflicted that have allowed the Danville d’Elegance Foundation to be part of their personal team.
The Tigner family support is just one example of our own growing and extended group – this year we also had the strength of Sonny Whelen and his Grand-AM racing team that actually helped us start our auction bidding back in July, with his donation of “JOIN THE GRAND-AM VIP EXPERIENCE” charity auction package on eBay.
And there were plenty others that came to share their personal ties to Parkinson’s with us, from their own distant homes. Dick Nicely and JoAnn Reilly joined us once again, all the way from Ohio, and Bill and Carol Biggs drove their ’73 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS more than 100 miles just to share the “Tour” and “Concours” camaraderie once again – not to mention their great dancing skills on the Blackhawk Museum dance floor!
And speaking of the dinner gala – the casual theme of “Cruising toward a Cure” and it’s Tommy Bahama flair and surfer tunes, did not take away from enticing the high rollers in our annual silent and live auction to keep the bids rising. Even Don Williams, owner of the Blackhawk Museum and its famed car collection, got into the act, raising the bar and purchasing a Ferrari FXX Pedal Kart – possibly a new museum addition???
Yes, our Village is on a roll – in so many ways – and with the help, care and commitment from so many of you, how could we do anything but keep growing while collectively working to successfully assist the needs of Parkinson’s patients and the care and research that is so needed.
The growth we experienced this year for the Danville d’Elegance Foundation, was not only in our fundraising capabilities, but it was truly in growing our Village. Looking forward to your support in making our 9th year even better!!! Check our website, at www.danville-delegance.org as we plan for next year, September 21-22, 2013…
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