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Franklin Rotary Planning 7th Annual Car Show – CANCELLED DUE TO IMPENDING WEATHER

The Franklin Rotary car show is coming up on September 16th, at New England Chapel. As these pics from a past car show demonstrate, both “stock” and “mod” cars are welcomed. The show grows bigger and better each yea

The Franklin Rotary Club & New England Chapel have cancelled the 7th Annual Car Show, slated for September 16th, 2023 at New England Chapel, 300 Central Street, Franklin, due to expected weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Lee. The event will be rescheduled in upcoming weeks.

Registration is $15 per car and entry is FREE to spectators. Proceeds from the event support an annual scholarship for a Franklin student.'


“We earmark $500 that goes toward the scholarship every year,” says Rotary Club of Franklin, MA President Diane Padula. “The family of Robert Simler also donates $2,500 every year, so it’s a joint effort that we give a $3,000 scholarship annually.”

Padula says the Rotary is looking forward to this event. “It’s going to be so much bigger,” she notes, adding, “Last year was our first time at New England Chapel.”

“They were very welcoming, they’re very community oriented, and we wanted to support their mission,” says Rotary member Gary Convertino, who has worked with Pastor Cliff at New England Chapel, “They helped us put on a fantastic show last year, and we wanted to work with them. They’re great people.”

Convertino, a car enthusiast, began this Rotary fundraiser. He got the idea from a project he did while working at Dean College.

“I collect antique cars, I have eight antique cars, and one day, we put together an educational (car) show for the students,” says Convertino, who is President of a Lincoln Continental Club. “It entailed having green cars, hybrid cars, and then cars like mine, to show how they wasted gas. We had fully EV cars, fully electric vehicles, and we put profiles together for each car to show how environmentally friendly or environmentally wasteful the cars were. It really kind of resonated with the students.” 

Convertino was inspired to spread that enthusiasm for the car show to the town. Feeling strongly that all students get the opportunity to go to college, he hoped proceeds from the event could benefit a scholarship fund. Working with Rotary, which already had a scholarship fund, was a perfect match.

The event began at Dean College.

“I think the first year we had 25-30 cars,” says Convertino, “Last year, at New England Chapel, we had 69 cars,” some coming from Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Rotary car show welcomes vehicles of all types: Antique, Muscle, Classic, Custom, Motorcycles and out of the norm new cars.

“The cars are what we call ‘stock’ and ‘mod,’” says Convertino, explaining, “Stock cars have never been modified, and mod cars have brand new tires or something different from what it was meant to be. We love having both because kids like the mods and adults like the cars they remember.” 

This car show also offers awards, says Convertino. The “People’s Choice Award” goes to the car with the most votes from the community; The Chariot Award is chosen by Pastor Cliff, of New England Chapel, The Rotary Award is chosen by the Rotary president, and the Lead Sponsor Award is chosen by the event’s biggest sponsor, which, last year, was Dean Bank. Convertino himself chooses first, second and third.

The new location last year also enabled Franklin Police and Fire to become involved, adds Convertino.

“We had great participation from Franklin Fire and Franklin Police,” he says, “the Fire Department would put out a truck and the Police Department would put out a police cruiser, and the Fire Department would hand out fire helmets, which was great, and the police would put people in the back seat to see what it was like in the cruiser. They’re planning on working with us again.”

This year, Rotary Club of Franklin, MA is also working with Clear Path for Veterans ( Clearpath will bring its food truck, and any proceeds will support their cause. 

The event will also feature an ice cream truck, a 50/50 raffle at the event to benefit its scholarship fund, a dog station, and music by a local DJ, Johnny Iannelli, who solely works car shows, playing a lot of oldies.  

Convertino and Padula both can’t say enough about their sponsors.

“We rely on our sponsors so much, and we’re so grateful to these people. They just keep us moving,” says Padula. The top three sponsors this year include Dean Bank, M.T. P. Communications and Vendetta Motors. 

There is still time to sponsor the event, as sponsorships will be taken until September 8th.

To register or become a sponsor contact: Gary Convertino at [email protected]

or John Power at [email protected] 

Convertino says he’s grateful, “to the townspeople coming to enjoy the show, the area businesses who sponsor, New England Chapel, who give us the entire place for free, inside and outside … and the Police and Fire for their support as well. And Rotary, of course.”

If you would like more information about our organization or to become a member, please contact Diane Padula, [email protected]. Rotary meets the first and third Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Rome Restaurant, 4 East Central Street (Rte. 140), Franklin, Mass.