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For Immediate Release

ABA’s Thursday Night Thunder Car Shows Demonstrate Businesses’ Commitment to Local Communities

For information contact:

Terry Pelletier , ABA Car Show Chair (860-429-6571)

Patricia Lagasse, ABA President (860-208-3037)

ASHFORD, CT—September 26, 2016  The Ashford Business Association (ABA), a group of local businesses from Ashford and the adjoining communities including Willington and Eastford, is wrapping up its third season of monthly classic car shows.  The final show will be September 29, hosted in the parking lot of the Midway Restaurant on Rte. 44 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.  It will include a chicken barbeque dinner available to attendees at the Midway for $14.


The ABA is in its fifth year with a growing list of more than 70 business members and an increasing commitment to local community service organizations.  The ABA formed to help local businesses promote and support each other, and to collectively approach issues that face all small businesses in Connecticut.  


At July’s Thursday Night Thunder Car Show the ABA collected hundreds of toys for its Christmas in July-themed event, enough to provide more than 60 children in Ashford, Eastford and Willington ages 2 to 12 with numerous gifts.

“Our Thursday Night Thunder has become a real attraction for families as well as car enthusiasts,” says Terry Pelletier, owner of Terry’s Transmissions and coordinator of the classic car show.  “Our intent is to provide a free outing for the community that helps to showcase the many businesses which serve this rural corner of the state.  We attracted 70 cars to our July show from throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”


The ABA holds a raffle for prizes donated by its member businesses, invites local service organizations to attend to receive donations, and welcomes businesses to exhibit and sell their products while a DJ performs.  Food banks in each town also benefit from the “entry price” of donated nonperishable food.  Refreshments are also available.  “Our car shows make a great stop for the family, and we hope folks have enjoyed making this a regular part of their summer schedule to come enjoy a good time,” says Pelletier.


Volunteer organizations such as the fire departments in Eastford, Ashford, and Willington plus the Ashford PTO, and local food banks are among the groups invited to be present to benefit from the evening’s donations.  


“As small business people, our members count on local residents to buy their products and services.  There’s a tremendous benefit to  small communities like Ashford to support local businesses—service convenience for residents, increased tax revenues for our towns, all blended with trust and local familiarity when you’re purchasing a product or service,” says Trisha Lagasse, branch manager at the Storrs office of Liberty Bank and  ABA President.  “In turn, ABA members have an interest in our surrounding communities—most of them live right here.  The ABA can be a force to support local businesses as well as the communities in which we do business.”


The organization firmly believes that buying local is important.  In partnership with the Ashford Economic Development Commission, it maintains its own buy local campaign, “Grow Ashford Business.  Plant your Dollars Locally” featuring a website where people can check online at www.ashfordbusiness.org to find ABA members who are local service providers.


Ashford alone has more than 250 registered businesses, many of them serving customers internationally, regionally as well as locally.  “This is a great place to locate a business,” says Ashford Economic Development Commission Chair Richard Williams.  “We’re centrally located between Providence, Boston, Worcester and Hartford, have direct access to I-84, are close to regional and major airports and have direct proximity to UConn and Eastern Connecticut State University.  We want to grow the businesses that are here, and help them succeed by making Ashford their home base.”


Businesses interested in learning more about joining the ABA, and/or participating in the ABA’s Thursday Night Thunder Car Shows may call John at 860-487-0596, or email John at jrettwood@hotmail.com.

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