RIDGELY — More than 1,200 classic cars, street rods and motorcycles from six rally points across Maryland and Delaware thundered onto the Benedictine School campus in Ridgely on Sunday, July 28, for the Chrome City Ride.
The 18th annual ride raised more than $105,000 and counting to support more than 200 children and adults with disabilities served by Benedictine School. The event drew about 2,100 participants.
The annual event, organized and run by volunteers, has grown into one of the state’s largest ride and has helped to raise more than $2 million with 15,000 participates since the ride’s inception in 2001. Now, much more than a ride, Chrome City is a way for the community to learn more about Benedictine’s mission to help children and adults with developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential.
The school serves students from the entire Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Each year students dance along with Rockin’ Elvis and riders and participants vie for the Sister’s Choice award. This year an orange HD Turbo Road King was the grand prize winning bike, and Ray Nails with a red and silver 1954 Pontiac Star Chief was the grand prize car winner. New this year was the Kid’s Choice awards given to Donald Teat in a national grand champion Huckster and Mike Ledbetter in his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
For the first time in the event’s history, Benedictine auctioned off a donated-signed Paul Reed Smith electric guitar with all proceeds going to benefit the organization.
“We are honored to have so many car enthusiasts from all over the state come to support the kids each year,” said Spud Blake, Chrome City Ride volunteer chair. “This is an event where our kids love seeing the cars and motorcycles. They interact with the various owners. The owners take a lot of great individual time to show the kids what is special about their cars and motorcycles.”
Generous sponsors, community partners, and volunteers continue to make the event a success year after year. Blake thanked CPR Vintage Porsche Restoration in Easton for helping to promote the event and serving as a registration location as well as Outback Steakhouse in Annapolis, Rommel Harley-Davidson Delmarva of Salisbury, Old Glory Harley-Davidson dealership, and Hitchcock Autoworks for serving as registration locations and rally points.
Volunteers from Callahan’s Gas and Appliance in Centreville helped with parking the hundreds of cars on campus, along with volunteers from Choptank Transport in Preston.
Each rider passed under a large American flag at Benedictine’s front entrance waving from a ladder truck. Famous Dave’s provided a hot barbecue lunch, and each rider took home a collectible T-shirt printed and designed by Benedictine’s Graphics department.
Notable attendees in years past include Candy Clark, Cindy Williams and Bo Hopkins from the George Lucas 1973 classic American Graffiti, as well as area legislators. The event has attracted celebrity donors as well. For more than five years car enthusiast and talk show host Jay Leno donated to the event, as well as a collector from New Jersey who donated a 1941 Willys Pro Street Coupe in 2016. This year’s 2019 event bought the largest crowd of riders and spectators to date.
At the beginning of 2018, the Benedictine School earned a two-year accreditation through 2020 from the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services.
The accreditation placed the Benedictine School among 26 institutions in the nation to receive the honor out of about 200 special education schools.
As a national commission that verifies and promotes excellence in education service, NCASES evaluates private special education programs through a process that encourages diversity of educational practice and innovation. The process assures students in private special education settings are provided environments that are healthy, safe, comfortable and conducive to learning.
NCASES also named Benedictine School teacher Lorraine Slama the 2018 Educator of the Year.
For more information about the Benedictine School, visit www.benschool.org.