LEWISTON — With his parents close by, Hunter Carey, not quite 3, stared at a rusted wrecker that looked like “Mader” in the Disney movie “Cars.”

“He doesn’t talk,” the little boy said of the rusted truck with the license plate, “Tetnus.”

He and his family were attending the Freedom Rally car and motorcycle show at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Saturday, sponsored by Central Maine Defenders, a motorcycle club comprised of police officers, military personnel and first responders.

The daylong event featured one-of-a-kind cars, motorcycles, a Lifeflight helicopter, live music and games for children, including a huge inflatable gym.

It was the first such event held in Lewiston. Money raised will benefit Special Olympics, Lifeflight and the Travis Mills Foundation.

“Cars” is Hunter’s favorite movie, said his mother, Jordan Bisson of Greene.

Julian (Coach) Harwood of Manchester, a former police officer and investigator for state agencies, is president of the central Maine chapter of the motorcycle club. Larry Hesseltine, a Waldoboro police officer, serves as vice president.

Harwood has a personal connection to Lifeflight of Maine.

In 2006, Lifeflight transported his son to a hospital in Portland after his son, then 11, suffered an asthma attack. When Lifeflight showed up, there was a sense of relief that the boy was getting the best help possible. 

Unfortunately, his son passed away.

“It was a very trying time, losing a son like that,” Harwood said. “They go over my house all the time. Every time, it’s a tearjerker.”

At 11 a.m. motorcyclists got in formation for a group ride, escorted by Lewiston police.

Club member Bob (Slick) Chaput of Sidney asked riders to bow their heads as he prayed.

As a line of motorcyles left the Colisee, a Lifeflight helicopter flew above.

For the motorcycle show, bikes will be judged in part for their custom paint jobs, Chaput said, showing off one with striking yellow, red and purple designs on the gas tank, another with sporty orange and purple checks.

His snazzy “Screaming Eagle” motorcycle was all black with custom green stripes.

Chaput and his wife had just returned on the motorcycle from a trip to Pennsylvania.

“I ride as much as I can,” he said.

Parked with other one-of-a-kind cars, Joseph Mallozzi of Lewiston answered questions about his 1951 Ford Victoria, its interior and exterior made up of vivid blues and purples.

The name on the car was Betty Lou, in honor of his late wife. The car’s theme is Elvis Presley. On the back seat are pictures of Elvis and a guitar with his wife’s photo.

“She loved this car,” he said.

Three months before she died of cancer in 2007, she picked out the car, he said. He had it refurbished in her memory.

“That’s what all the jewelry is,” he said.

The car sports other feminine touches, such as a rose decal that said “My heart belongs to Betty Lou.”

He takes the car to shows and restaurant cruise nights. He installed a DVD player in the trunk, where a screen pops up and plays Elvis concerts.

“At night, the car lights up blue,” he said. “The TV’s on with concerts. People love it.”

Attendance Saturday morning was light. Harwood questioned whether low turnout may be connected to concerns of police shootings outside of Maine.

The lack of trust and shootings are awful and depressing, he said.

“But things are going to get better,” he said. “We’re here to help.”


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