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Big names, crowds expected at Bronx car show

Big cars and big names are coming to the 10th Annual Orchard Beach Car Show.

As the Sunday, September 19 event approaches, more big name celebrities have signed on to sign autographs and shake hands. The impressive list includes Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz in “Happy Days”, John Schneider, who played Bo Duke in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and baseball legend Reggie Jackson.

According to the event organizers about 15,000 spectators are expected to come to the show, and thousands have already registered to show off their cars and bikes at the event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 19 in the Orchard Beach parking lot.

“Our website is getting 2,700 hits a day,” said event co-organizer John Monsolino. “It’s getting exciting. Everybody wants to come and help out and have a good time.”

Although the entertainment is subject to change, organizers are planning to have Burt Young of the “Rocky” movies, Joe Causi of WCBS, Buddy Valastro and the gang from “Cake Boss,” Goumba Johnny of WKTU FM, Joe Frazier, and Cindy Williams and Paul Le Mat from “American Graffiti” attend the show.

Various members of the “Sopranos” cast are also expected to make an appearance.

The day will include a motorcycle run from Orchard Beach down to Ground Zero, and then back again to the show. About 1,000 motorcycles are expected to come for the police-escorted ride.

To draw in more than just the car-enthusiast crowd, the show will feature vendors of specialty products and jewelry. This is also the first time the event will feature a Karate exhibition by Church Zito and Tommy May.

Only 300 tickets will be sold for a 1965 Plymouth Satellite Convertible that will be raffled off at the event. Tickets will cost $100 dollars.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Widows and Orphans of 9/11 Fund.

The show was started by Joe Caldwell, a highway patrolman who recently retired because of a 9/11 sickness, mere weeks after the September 11 attacks.

In its first year the show raised about $7,000, but that number has skyrocketed to more than $330,000 for the Widows and Orphans, and about $52,000 for numerous children’s organizations.

“It’s all coming together for this year’s show,” Caldwell said. “It’s going to be a great one.”

Tickets for the show are $20 for cars, $10 for spectators and $30 to ride in the motorcycle run.

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