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Plymouth Airport show honors Scituate boy

In 2009, Ricky Hoffman got a ride in a Ferrari Testarossa at the Cars and ’Copters show.

William Hoffman photo

In 2009, Ricky Hoffman got a ride in a Ferrari Testarossa at the Cars and ’Copters show.

REMEMBERING A GOOD DAY: Ricky Hoffman’s name lives on at the fifth annual Cars and ’Copters, scheduled for next Sunday at Plymouth Municipal Airport, one of the region’s biggest showcases of hot cars and helicopters.

The event has become an official Jimmy Fund fund-raiser, with proceeds going for cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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It’s held in honor of Hoffman, a Scituate boy who died from brain cancer in 2009 at age 11. Earlier that year, the boy and his father, William Hoffman, had taken in the show.

“The original five organizers were great to Ricky. I was looking for things to do with him when he got ill, and they made him the guest of honor,” William Hoffman said. “He won a raffle, got a ride in a helicopter and a Ferrari Testarossa.

“We had a great day,” he said. “And two months later he was gone.”

Last year’s show saw 1,800 cars on display and 20 helicopters. The numbers this year are expected to be even larger, said Hoffman, who is now one of the event’s organizers, along with Chris Benvie, Alex Jarvie, Wes Verkaart, Peter Ladas, and Sam Lurie.

“As far as I know, it’s the only one of its type around,” he said. “And we have more room this year; they’re giving us the whole back section of the airport.”

Cars at the event have included a replica of James Dean’s Porsche Spyder, in which the actor died in a 1955 car crash. Many Model A Fords show up, as well as classic muscle cars, Lamborghinis, BMWs, Mustangs, and many others, Hoffman said, adding that entire car clubs attend to show their vehicles.

“The show is a go-to destination for many enthusiasts,” said Hoffman, 56, who works for a nonprofit software consortium in Needham. “They come from Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, all over.”

Hoffman said he has owned more than 50 collectible cars in his life, his most recent a silver metallic Shelby GT 500, with a 650-horsepower engine, that will be at the show.

The helicopters are a big draw and “add a whole other dimension” to the event, he said, and have included medical flight choppers, Massachusetts State Police helicopters, and a multimillion-dollar Eurocopter, owned by Verkaart, who also operates Heliops at Plymouth Airport.

The event has raised more than $25,000 for the Jimmy Fund, Hoffman said. The entry fee is $10 per vehicle. For more information, visit www.carsandcopters.com.

“We had one of the best days of his life,” Hoffman said of the day he and his son attended the show. “I wanted to continue to help.”

SINGERS COMPETE FOR “CHAMPION” STATUS: Nurse Sandy Verneus of Brockton; Laney Powers, 9, of Plymouth, whose dad is in the band the Smoking Jackets; and James Ingargiola, 87, of East Bridgewater, a former restaurateur who carries around a karaoke machine to sing at residences for the elderly, share a common goal: to win The Voices of Champions, a vocal competition presented by The Charity Guild at its Harvest Gala of the Guild fund-raiser in Brockton Sept. 26 at the Shaw’s Center.

The two winners in the final round that night, one adult and one child, will get $150, recording time at a local studio, and a guest-soloist gig at next season’s Brockton Rox home opener. More than 30 people tried out for the event in June, and 20 preliminary finalists will sing on Wednesday for judges who will pick eight finalists, four from each category.

Tickets for the gala are $75, and benefit the guild’s Brockton food pantry. Visit www.thecharityguild.org/events/harvestgala.php for information.

“We have a fine group of singers again this year,” said Michael Molyneux, executive director of The Charity Guild, who “represent all ages and many styles of music.”

DENTIST SERVES PERU: Robin Feltoon, dentist and owner of Holly Tree Dental in Hanover, undertook a weeklong health care mission this summer in the mountains of Peru in association with the Cleveland Clinic. She was part of a group of 15 medical professionals — which included her brother, Arnold Feltoon, an emergency room physician in Cleveland — to serve poor people in the Sacred Valley region of the Andes Mountains.

Robin Feltoon was the first dentist to volunteer to provide services in the six-year-old program. Clinics were set up daily in villages, where volunteers worked without electricity and modern equipment, while residents, many of whom had never seen a dentist, lined up for hours to be treated.

She said the team treated hundreds of patients and is establishing a protocol for the annual Peru mission. This was her second mission of the year, having traveled to Honduras in February.

BROCKTON YOUTH WINS NAACP AWARD: Adrian Niles, 17, of Brockton earned a silver medal at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s national Afro-Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics in Florida. Niles, a student at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton, won for creating a stand-up automated transportation device similar to a Segway.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@aol.com.
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