Special to the Town Crier
NEWINGTON - Turnpike Motors Autobody has been a longtime supporter of K-9 police dog efforts.
They’ve worked with the Hometown Foundation, which is a foundation of Bozzuto’s Inc. out of Cheshire, which is one of the largest donors to the state police.
Additionally, since the November death of Thor, a 3-year-old K-9 police dog who had been with the Wethersfield police department for two years, they’ve also donated thousands of dollars and police dogs to departments in Connecticut, New York, the border control and all over the country.
“A K-9 dog can do so much more than a police officer can,” said Marty Smith, comptroller for Turnpike Auto Body. “They can find Alzheimer victims; they can find children, because of their sense of smell . . . so you can teach these dogs.
“You’ve got to train them and discipline them. They’re as valuable as a regular police officer to a police force because of what their ability is.”
Next Friday, June 9, Turnpike Auto Body is hosting a Beer & Wine tasting fundraiser at their shop in Newington from 6 to 9 p.m. to help continue those efforts.
Proceeds will go to benefit K-9 Crime Stoppers, a non-profit run by Bryan Colletti, who trains and prepares dogs to enter the police force. It can cost thousands of dollars per dog, explained Smith.
“Since a lot of the police departments have to raise funds themselves, because it’s not in the budget, we’ll donate these dogs to the police department,” said Smith.
“We’ll raise money for Bryan because it’s so expensive for him to train the dogs.” Garmin devices, which are bite sleeves are needed to help the handlers.
Tickets are $25 for the event, which is being hosted in partnership with Dream Ride Experience, Hometown Foundation, BevMax and Radio 104.1 WMRQ. The shop will open up their bay doors and hold the event inside their garage.
“It’s a big kind of community event with our guys so we’re looking forward to it,” said Smith.
Tito’s Vodka, World Wide Wine, Slocum & Sons, Hartley and Parker, Sarene Craft Beer, Mighty Swell Sparkling Cocktails, Brescome, Goodman and more will be some of the vendors.
New York Pickle Deli out of Rocky Hill, Stew Leonard’s and Buffalo Wild Wings will provide food.
A raffle will be held, with prizes including gift certificates for local food stores and restaurants, wine gift baskets and community gift baskets.
“Everyone has been coming through for us, it’s just been a huge outpouring of help through this whole initiative.”
Ian Biggs Band, which created the viral parody video “Brady pull me closer,” will provide music entertainment as 104.1 will also be broadcasting from the shop.
Classic cars will also be featured, including Lamborghinis and Ferraris outside. “It’s going to be a fun night, all around,” said Smith.
Tickets can be purchased at Turnpike Motors or BevMax, 1142 Silas Deane Hwy, Wethersfield, CT 06109, in advance, or at the door. Parking will be available at the shop and the Stop & Shop, located behind it.
“There’s a big need for training and for the safety of people out there,” said Smith. “The dogs are vital to these police organizations”
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.