Michele Flattery got onstage to play blues harmonica with Whiplash and said she was touched to see the number of attendees at the cruise.
Michele Flattery set out to raise a few hundred dollars in her dad Bob McDonnell’s memory, but when she and the town of Boston put the pedal to the metal, they raised more than $4,000 for Hospice with a car cruise that streaked right past their expectations.
McDonnell died of melanoma in December 2013 and Flattery wanted to do something to help the Hospice program that had done so much for her father.
“I thought I would raise some money; I raised over $4,000. I thought I would have 30 cars; I got over 100,” Flattery said. “It was just overwhelming, how much bigger it got than I expected.”
The Lions Club of Boston cooked hot dogs, community members and local businesses donated 45 baskets for a raffle and the Drifters Car Club rallied the troops to make sure there were plenty of wheels in honor of McDonnell, who loved cars and car shows. The band Whiplash entertained the crowd.
“He was a good apple,” Flattery said, of her father. “He took me to more car shows.”
The event was held on July 15 in Boston Town Park, and turned into what Flattery called “a great community event.
“People really came out,” she added. “I play blues harmonica and when I got up onstage and looked out at all the people, I had tears in my eyes.”
She, her three sisters and stepmother plan to make it an annual event, already having booked the park for the first weekend in July, next year. Right now, Flattery is still gathering funds from the first event, which she planned to present to Hospice representatives this week, what she called her “favorite part.
“Weeks later, people are still coming up to me and giving me money,” said Flattery. She works at Three Sisters Cafe, where she said her elderly patrons have handed her money on several occasions. That money, she said, means more to her than dollars: It means support from the community she loves.
More than 100 cars came down to participate in the cruise, which raised more than $4,000 in money for Hospice.
“A little old lady gave me $10, the other day. That $10 is so, so meaningful to me, because I know what it means to her,” she said.
“It just got way bigger than I ever expected, and I can’t wait for next year,” Flattery noted. “And I just want to thank everybody who was involved, because it means so much to me.”
Flattery and her family are planning the next car cruise in her father’s memory for next July.