When the 59th Annual Franklin Trek makes visit to Cazenovia Aug. 4 to 11, the classic automobile owners won’t only be bringing nostalgia and history, but also non-perishable goods to be donated to the local food pantry, CazCares.
A total of 210 Franklin cars will be on display during the week-long event. For the Aug. 5 parade, food collection receptacles will be located along the parade route up Albany Street, at the Cazenovia College Quad and in Lakeland Park, where the parade concludes. As Franklin automobiles drivers begin the procession at 11 a.m., they will be making donations throughout the event — and spectators are encouraged to follow suit.
“The Franklin Trek has been held in Cazenovia for more than 40 years. We spend the week staying at Cazenovia College with the cars parked on the college quad. Club members spend the week driving their cars to points of interest in and around Cazenovia. During the week many activities are held including a road rally, tech sessions, cake decorating classes, a reception at the Cazenovia Artisans, a “drive-in” movie, a visit to the Lorenzo State Historic Site and more,” said Franklin Trek Co-Chair Bob Metro. “On Sunday, Aug. 5, we will have a parade down Albany Street followed by an afternoon in Lakeland Park — which provides an opportunity for people to see the cars up close. They can also visit the college to see the cars parked on the quad throughout the week. The village and town have always been more than gracious during our visits. To show our appreciation, we worked with the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman to arrange a donation to the community this year. During the parade route, each car will stop to donate a nonperishable food item to CazCares.”
The Franklin drivers will spend the week in the college dorms, exhibiting their automobiles on the quad and exploring Cazenovia. During their stay, they will be invited to sample Cazenovia’s many restaurants, visit the different local shops and meet the storeowners.
“We at the GCACC are pleased to welcome back to our community the Franklin Trek. Each year we look forward to their return; it’s like the return of old friends,” said GCACC Chairman Gene Gissin. “This year the Franklins are going to do something special. They are not only sharing their cars with members of the Cazenovia community, but are going to donate non-perishable food items to CazCares as part of their parade route. What a nice way to give back to our community.”
The event is a welcomed tradition in Cazenovia every summer, but the charitable twist to this year’s occasion makes the trek about more than just old-time-automobile nostalgia.
CazCares, a local non-profit which has helped thousands of clients since its inception in 1982, is largely run by a team of volunteers and funded by monetary donations, area churches, student and civic groups, in addition to the food and clothing donations it receives from area individuals,
“CazCares and the many families it serves appreciate the generosity of the Franklin Club and its members,” said Gigi Redmond, director of client services at CazCares. “The food the owners of these magnificent classic cars are donating will help CazCares meet the continuing needs of its Cazenovia-area clients. By supporting a special food collection center on the Cazenovia College quadrangle the Franklin Club is also making it easier for local residents to contribute non-perishable food as they visit the Franklins. Franklin Club members have always contributed to Cazenovia’s economy during their annual trek, but this time their support will also reach those whose needs are both basic and immediate. On behalf of the more than 150 families who rely partly on CazCares for their daily food needs, our thanks go out to the Franklin Club.”
A CazCares donation receptacle will be located on the Cazenovia College Quad from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Aug. 6, through Friday, Aug. 10, at the J.M. McDonald Student Center entrance. This container will be for members of the community and the college to join the Franklins in making contributions to CazCares.
“As the Franklin drivers were planning their week here, they came to us and asked if there was an entity in Cazenovia that would allow them to make non-perishable donations to the community — and we immediately thought of CazCares,” said Wayne Westervelt, chairman of the GCACC Franklin Trek Committee and director of communications at Cazenovia College. “It’s a great event. It gives the residents of our community an opportunity to come down to the quad to look at the cars and talk with the Franklin drivers; it’s definitely a reunion of sorts. [Making charitable donations] was really the drivers’ idea, we’re excited to have them in our community, spending some money here and becoming part of our community in some ways; but, when they come up with an idea like this, it’s really great. It’s a win-win.”
Each year, a new poster is designed for the week-long event, and Westervelt said this year is no different. He said a Cazenovia College visual communications student designed this 2012 event poster, having drawn inspiration from a photo snapped by Gene Gissin during a previous Franklin Trek.
More information on the Franklin Trek can be found at franklincar.org and cazenoviachamber.com.
To learn more about the event, call 655-9243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or email@example.com. Additional reporting was done by Wayne Westervelt.