By Hillary Siegel
Bill Kraft loves cars. He always has and always will.
So four years ago when he was presented with the opportunity to buy a 1953 Hudson Hornet, he found it incredibly difficult to turn down. And this semester, he found it equally as hard to turn down an opportunity to show off his pride and joy at the Sigma Kappa Driving Out Alzheimer’s car show on campus.
More than 15 cars and their owners set up in Lot 3 behind Loser Hall to show off their rides and talk to eager car enthusiasts on Saturday, Sept. 29. Kraft, of Cranbury, was one of many car owners who could not wait to show off for such a good cause.
Tom Tortoriello, of Shrewsbury, said he bought his 1982 Corvette as a “mid-life crisis” resolution, and that he jumped at the opportunity to join the car show when his daughter, Alexa, a junior early child education and psychology major, told him about the upcoming Sigma Kappa event.
The car show was Sigma Kappa’s first big philanthropy event of the year. They began visiting other car shows and calling for sponsorship last semester, knowing it would take a lot of time and effort to pull off such a big event. There was a $15 registration fee for each car, and all of the money raised through raffle tickets and registration will go straight to the Alzheimer’s Association, through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Cynthia Perez, the vice president of Philanthropic Services for Sigma Kappa, said that this event went exactly as planned.
“This is a success for our first event, and we can only go up from here,” she explained. She said that it was “nerve-wracking to find the cars and to get people to pre-register,” but they were very pleased with the outcome.
The sisters spent all of last semester and the summer planning the event, handing out flyers at car shows and drawing in support from the community. “This year we wanted to do something out of the ordinary, and something that would involve the community,” Perez said.
She described it as wanting to give the College a good face in the community, seeing that the sorority was doing something so beneficial to it’s philanthropy. The sisters typed up a donation letter, and handed it out at car shows and throughout the community, so that people would better understand what their cause was.
Many students and members of the community came out to look at the cars and enjoy the vendors, such as Naked Pizza, that were there on Saturday. A few brothers from the fraternity Alpha Chi Rho came to the sorority’s event. Brian Carey, senior history major, said he wasn’t that interested in cars. “We came to support Sigma Kappa,” he said.
Christian Palevski, sophomore business major, was one of the judges of the car show, along with Talha Cheema, senior biology major. Both love cars, and have been interested in them since they were children. Cheema said that he “fell in love with BMWs when James Bond used to drive them,” while Palevski called himself a “car and motorcycle enthusiast” who has worked as a car salesman in the past. They were judging the cars in three categories: “Best in Show Pre-1960,” “Best in Show Post-1960” and “Best Paint.”
This is Sigma Kappa’s first year doing the car show, and they now plan on making it an annual event. In addition, they also do the Walk to End Alzheimer’s every year in another effort to take one step closer to the cure.
“A lot of our girls have family members with Alzheimer’s, so it touches the hearts of a lot of us,” Perez said.
Their next effort for their philanthropy will be the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 14. Anybody can join their team “Sigma Kappa TCNJ,” and Perez encourages people to do so, because each walk is seen as “one step closer to finding a cure.”