Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 02-18-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 WOONSOCKET FEBRUARY 18-24, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION Local business owners donating used car to local veteran WOONSOCKET – Bill Gately and Dave Lambert, co-owners of Henri's Auto Repair on Park Avenue in Woonsocket, are hoping to put a new set of keys in the hands of one local veteran. On March 8, the business own- ers will draw a name from a list of local veterans in need. The winner will receive a 2001 Ford Taurus that recently underwent a full overhaul by the repair shop. Gately explained the initiative started in 2019 when a customer was looking to get rid of an old car. The repair shop accepted the vehicle but instead of junking it, they enlisted the help of a local auto parts store to contribute parts. After some hard work on the part of their staff, the vehicle was ready to head back onto the road and make a difference for a veteran. "It only sets us back time," he explained. "As far as we're con- cerned, we're lucky enough to have a business that's surviving through this pandemic thing. Let's pass it on." That first vehicle went to a 24-year Marine veteran who had lost his apartment in Woonsocket and was living in a camper in Connecticut. Now, for their second donation, Gately said they're looking to find another veteran who could use a leg up. "We basically just take a car that's still roadworthy but needs the work and put the work into it and donate it," he said. To compile the list of names, they've partnered with New Englanders Helping Our Veterans, a nonprofit organization based out of Burrillville. Jim Collins, president of the organization and a U.S. Army veteran, said they'd received 60 applications as of Monday. Collins vets the applications and puts the names into a raffle to be drawn on March 8 during a live broadcast on WOON Radio. "We help the guys who fall between the cracks, mostly," he added. Gately said the drawing is open to all area veterans who demonstrate a need for a free vehicle. His own father-in-law served during World War II, while his brother-in-law served in Vietnam and his nephew in Iraq. "These are people who have served our country, served it well," he said. "There's not enough help out there for them. I see veterans sleeping in the street, and that's something that bothers me." This latest vehicle, he said, came to the shop by way of a customer who'd put over 200,000 miles on it commuting to Boston. While it's had its share of use, Gately said it's a solid vehicle that could have a second life in the hands of a new owner. The repair shop staff put close to $4,000 worth of work into it between labor and parts donated by their sponsors, including Autoparts International, Inferno Audio, North Smithfield Auto Body, New England Farms, WOON Radio and the Gamache family. For those who don't prove lucky in this drawing, Gately said they've already got a vehicle lined up for their next donation. They're hoping to raffle that vehicle off in a drawing on Veterans Day in November. Veterans interested in submitting their names can contact Collins at or call Henri's Auto Repair at 401-762- 2325. By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Deputy Editor Drawing will be held March 8 BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM BILL GATELY, left, and DAVE LAMBERT, right, owners of Henri's Auto Repair in Woonsocket, are pictured with JIM COLLINS, president of New Englanders Helping Our Veterans, in front of the 2001 Ford Taurus they plan to raffle off to a veteran. WOONSOCKET – It will be a rela- tively quiet scene in Woonsocket this weekend as the COVID-19 pandemic puts the traditional Mardi Gras festivi- ties on hold. But the Northern Rhode Island Council of the Arts, sponsor of the city's long-time Mardi Gras celebra- tion, wants people to know they're still working behind the scenes and look forward to bringing back the event next year. To that end, they've partnered with St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, which has hosted the event in recent years, to put together a smaller cel- ebration at Chelo's in Woonsocket this Sunday, Feb. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. While diners will have to follow the restaurant's usual policies for dine- in or takeout, members of the NRICA will be on hand to create a Mardi Gras atmosphere with zydeco music and a free raffle drawing. Members of the royal court, includ- ing Queen Lori Paul Thuot, Princesses Tabitha Westerhuis and Ashley NRICA tries to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Deputy Editor See MARDI GRAS, Page 32 WE'RE OPEN FOR ALL YOUR SERVICE NEEDS 36 BLACKSTONE STREET WOONSOCKET 401-766-3270 WWW.TERRYAUTOLTD.COM Gil & Meika NOW CARRYING… Falken Tires! FREE 2 Year Road Hazard Warranty. Pass/LT WE BUY CARS $ 89.95 RI State Inspection $ 55 4 WHEEL ALIGNMENT Starting at 2004 ToyoTA SIENNA VAN 1 Owner $ 3999 2004 GMC 1500 PICKUP Extra Cab - 70K Miles

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