Pictured, Left: Appearing at Artie's Party was John Schneider (center) of Dukes of Hazzard fame, pictured with auctioneer Col. Richard Westlake (right) and show organizer Artie Schilling (left).
The Syracuse Nationals is a classic car event that typically attracts more than 70,000 visitors each year. This year, Artie's Party raised more than $75,000 for the McMahon/Ryan site. Over the last five years, Artie's Party has donated nearly $300,000 in contributions for the advocacy site.
The McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center provides a safe haven for sexually abused children and victims of domestic violence. "One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused in this country before the age of eighteen," says Executive Director Julie Cecile, who oversees the daily operations of the facility. "Our mission at the advocacy center is to end child abuse through intervention and education."
The organization's education program provides instruction on child abuse prevention to school age children. Education also includes training of medical professionals and community agency workers, who more often than not lack the experience in sexual trauma.
"In Onondaga County, we had over 5,000 child abuse hotline calls last year," says Cecile. "That equates to over 9,000 cases of suspected child abuse. What makes our program unique is that all of the services required to process a case are under one roof. Instead of shuffling a child from one location to another, we provide a 'one stop shop' so to speak. This makes the victims' experience less traumatic, so the healing process begins much quicker."
In June of 2011, the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center moved from its original location in a 3,000-square foot facility to its new home, which had previously been the location of Syracuse University's University College. Contributions from the Artie's Party auctions have helped fund the move to the new building.
Pictured, Left: Never shy in front of a camera, Robert "Nub" Collard, who paints and pinstripes on Orange County Choppers, poses in front of some of his panels.
Before opening, the 30,000-square foot building underwent a $2 million renovation. The entire facility was remodeled to create an inviting atmosphere for the children and to provide facilities for all of the various agencies, which comprise the Child Abuse Response Team (CART). These agencies include Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Clinic from Upstate Medical University, representatives from the Onondaga County Sheriff's department and Child Protective Services.
Each year the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center serves nearly 300 child victims and their families. By providing a full range of services under one roof, the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Site lessens the trauma experienced by the victims (including medical treatment and mental health counseling). "Money raised at [Artie's Party] has also helped with the funding needed for hiring additional counselors," says Schilling.
Pictured, Left: At the show, airbrush artist Jimmy Jackson painted this carved Tiki.
Vendors who donated merchandise for the auction included PPG, the Evernham Family Racing for a Reason Foundation, Lincoln Technical Institute, DuPont Hot Hues, Gerber Scientific, RTape, and Xcaliber Corp. Ingersoll Rand provided two compressors and supplied equipment to air-condition the building where the stripers convened. Trane/Ingersoll Rand/Midstate Golf Car donated a golf cart.
Many of the finest stripers in the world traveled from as far away as California, England, Canada, and New Zealand to participate in Artie's Party, including: John "Tramp" Warner, Donny Edwards, Brian "the Brush" Briskie, Sal Cabrera, Julian "Mr. J" Braet, Mike "Mikey Boy" Fredrick, Howie Nisgor, Robert "Nub" Collard, DeWayne Connot, Neil Melliard, Tom Kelly, and Zeke Lemanski. Even former Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider showed up to help.
Pictured, Left: Bob Bond of Kansas City, Missouri is known for his traditional gold leaf designs and pinstriping.
Although the pinstripers participating in the event enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow artists, what motivates them to devote their weekend to this charitable cause is the sense of satisfaction that they get knowing that they are helping children in need of care.
"I would like to thank all of my pinstriping friends," says Schilling, "for contributing to the success of Artie's Party.
"And if you suspect child abuse, report it.