Get ready for a big week downtown.
The 7th annual Middletown , presented by Hunter Limousines, Hunter’s Ambulance and the Hunter Family will be held this Wednesday on Main Street in Middletown from 5-9 p.m.
More than 3,500 bikes are expected to converge on Main Street for the seventh year of this event, which will showcase custom and vintage motorcycles. Last year, there were over 3,000 motorcycles on display along with thousands of spectators.
All bikes are welcome to come out for this summer event which is sure to be a fantastic time for everyone involved. This is a great opportunity for the city to showcase its many fine restaurants and retail shops in the downtown district. There are a variety of activities planned for the evening, including a bike show and awards, entertainment, and street vendors selling a variety of food and merchandise.
In addition to the presenting sponsors, event sponsors include: Liberty Bank, Haymond Law, Charles Computer Services, Home Team Supply, Minuteman Press, Coca-Cola, Gengras Motorcycles, ServPro, Downtown Business District, First & Last Tavern, Fabian Associates and Mezzo Grill.
I want to personally thank Event Chairman Rich Greco, and Cathy Duncan from the Chamber staff, for their great work on this event every year.
Motorcycle Mania benefits Middletown youth programs and past proceeds have gone to the Middlesex Chamber’s Middletown Mentor Program, led by Hal Kaplan, and Middletown Parks and Recreation Department’s youth programs. There is a suggested donation of $5 per motorcycle and $10 for bikes entered for awards.
Entertainment throughout the evening will be provided by WMRD/WLIS Radio, which will broadcast live in front of the Chamber building. The band Rock Slide from Durham will perform on stage in front of Bank of America, and DJ Les Benfield will be stationed in the gazebo on the South Green.
We will also be giving out some great awards on Wednesday. The Vern A. Hunter Vintage Bike Award, in Loving Memory of Barbara M. Hunter, will be presented by Hunter's Ambulance and Hunter Limousines, The Dan M. Hunter "Functionality with Style" Award will be presented by Hunter’s Ambulance & Hunter Limousines, Liberty’s Choice Award will be presented by Liberty Bank, The Haymond Law Award will be presented by Haymond Law Office, The Gengras Elite Award will be presented by Gengras Motorcycles, The DBD Farkle Award will be presented by Downtown Business District, The Best Home Team Motorcycle Award will be presented by Home Team Supply, and The Mayor’s Choice Award will be presented by Mayor Dan Drew.
Tonight’s Member Business After Work Networking Event at the Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook is sure to be a great one and we are all looking forward to it. This event will feature complimentary food and beverages and of course, unmatched networking. As I noted last week, we are so lucky to have this terrific facility in Middlesex County and the State of Connecticut. We are expecting a great crowd tonight in Westbrook and hope to see you there.
On Thursday of this week, our Health Care Council is sponsoring a breakfast meeting featuring special guest speaker Kevin J. Counihan, the new CEO of Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange. This meeting, being hosted by the Community Health Center, will focus on the critical role the exchange will play in Connecticut’s path to health reform and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Counihan has 30 years of health care and health insurance experience. He has worked as vice president for Cigna Corp; held the position of President of Choice Administrators Exchange Solutions in California, and has also helped implement health care reform in Massachusetts. I would like to thank Kevin for visiting with our group, and Mark Masselli, Margaret Flinter, and the Community Health Center for hosting the event.
Last Friday was a truly special day for our Chamber as we presented Rudy Gay, former UCONN and current Memphis Grizzlies star, with the 2012 Role Model of the Year Award. We all know Rudy for his tremendous basketball talents and close to 500 Chamber members in the audience got to hear about Rudy’s family, his upbringing and his charitable activities.
Rudy gave a great talk that mostly focused on staying true to oneself, maintaining focus and of course, that there is no substitute for hard work. He addressed most of his remarks to the almost 100 kids in the audience from various youth programs around Middlesex County.
The event was also attended by University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Coach, and 2005 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jim Calhoun, and Assistant Coaches Kevin Ollie, Kevin Freeman, Glen Miller and Karl Hobbs. Coach Calhoun introduced Rudy and officially presented him with the Role Model Award.
Aug. 3 was declared Rudy Gay Day in the State of Connecticut by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew presented Rudy with a key to the city and also recognized his outstanding achievements. The Connecticut General Assembly issued a Proclamation which congratulated Rudy for his achievements both on and off the court.
Role models are so important in the lives of young people, especially in these very complicated times. I want to thank Rudy both personally, and on behalf of the Chamber, for visiting with our members, and for his great work both on and off the court. I also want to thank his parents Rudy Sr. and Rae, and his girlfriend Ecko, for attending the breakfast and for helping Rudy become the true leader that he is.
The Chamber had less than one week to put this event together. A special thank you goes out to the nearly 500 people that attended, and to my staff for their continued great work. Finally, I want to thank Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank Connecticut and Rhode Island, and the entire Citizens team for their continued sponsorship of our Role Model of the Year Breakfast.
In closing, I am happy to announce that we are officially four weeks through the Chamber’s Summer Youth Employment Program. We have 80 youngsters working at 41 worksites in Middletown, three in Durham and two in Cromwell. We continue to receive great reports from both our employees and their employers and we expect a strong finish to this very important program. Thanks again to all of our sponsors, supporters, host worksites and participants.
For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at email@example.com.