Petzel: Burbank restaurant organizes Wounded Warriors benefit
By Cheryl Petzel Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org June 7, 2012 2:32PM
Area residents participate recently in the Wounded Warrior benefit car show. | Supplied Photo
Updated: July 11, 2012 6:05AM
Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians! With Independence Day quickly approaching and Memorial Day having just passed, it’s important to keep our Armed Forces members in our thoughts and prayers, especially those who have returned home injured or made the ultimate sacrifice.
George Triantafyllou, owner of Geo’s Gyros, 7090 W. 79th St., Burbank, wanted to give back to our veterans. He hosted a Summer Kick Off Car Show on May 20 that benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to injured service members.
Triantafyllou’s daughter, Georgia, said her dad first got involved with the Wounded Warrior Project because they have two family members who served in the Marines.
“They’re near and dear to my dad’s heart,” Georgia said. “It’s a very good cause, especially now with so many injured vets returning home.”
Like George Triantafyllou, Oak Lawn resident Jerry Horn is a member of the Midwest Gear Grinders Car Club. He said he met Triantafyllou about seven years ago when Triantafyllou asked him about starting a cruise night, which has since become a regular Friday night event at Geo’s.
Horn was on-hand to help at the car show by parking cars where they could be viewed and judged. As in past years, this year’s car show was a big success.
“It was excellent,” Horn said. “Everybody had a lot of fun, there were prizes and everybody got something.”
Aurelio Centeno has known Triantafyllou for a number of years. They became friends quickly when Centeno visited his establishment, and they chatted about cars. Centeno had owned a body shop for 27 years and had lots of experience restoring cars. He also had experience and key contacts from doing car shows in the Mt. Greenwood area.
So, when Triantafyllou and Centeno discussed hosting a car show to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, Centeno was happy to help by making calls to his contacts and handling the public relations and marketing angles. He even orchestrated getting two Army helicopters to do a fly-over during the car show.
Centeno owns a 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle that he’s restored and shows.
“It’s a conversation starter, every car is,” Centeno said. He also said the car show “went very well. It’s nice to meet up with old friends at these shows. All vets deserve a big thank you for serving.”
Georgia said approximately 100 cars participated in the car show, and they raised almost $3,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.
“Once the neighboring towns found out the proceeds were benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project, they donated checks,” Georgia said.
Pete Demos, president of the Chicago Wiseguys and Shake Rattle and Run match racers, also attended the car show. Tony Vestuto won Best of Show and took the trophy for his 1957 Chevy.
Loving birthday wishes go out to Adam McFee, who’s turning 14, and to his brother, Andrew, who’s turning 15, from their great-aunt, Antoinette Cataldo. Elizabeth Bauer’s family and friends wish her a happy 31st birthday. Happy birthday to Eric Sochacki, who’s turning 35, from his dad, Ted, Michelle, Curt and Jeremy Ward. Birthday greetings go out to Laura Shallow, from her family and Chamber of Commerce members. Dorothy (Terry) Martinovich’s family and friends wish her a happy birthday. Birthday wishes go out to Barbara Douglas from her “silver sneakers” friends. Russel Markle sends birthday wishes to his wife, Clare. Jimmy Cizak’s family and friends wish him a happy 55th birthday. Happy birthday to Jim Simon, from his loving wife, Terry,Wendy and Misty.
Wedding anniversary wishes go out to the following couples: Joe and Fran (Bailea) Petzel (yes, we’re related) as they celebrate their sixth anniversary; Larry and Patti Sharon who are celebrating their 14th anniversary; Steve and Yolanda Sawicki’s on their 18th anniversary; Jerry and Carrie Smith who are celebrating their 19th anniversary, and John and Sharon Peterson as they celebrate their 24th anniversary.
Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community. Contact me on my cell (708) 899-9544 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Until next time ...