Published August 24th, 2016
Dance with the Cars for a Good Cause
By Sora O'Doherty
"The Italian Job" is the theme of the Dancing With the Cars, part of the Classic Car Show. Image provided
If you love classic cars, and enjoy donating to a good cause, once again Orinda has something for you. The annual Orinda Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, with a pre-show "The Italian Job" party at 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Orinda Country Club.
The party will be Orinda's largest community-wide fundraiser, benefitting a wide range of Orinda non-profits, including the Educational Foundation of Orinda, the Orinda Association's Seniors Around Town program, Orinda Rotary, the Orinda Chamber, Orinda Parks and Rec Foundation, the Lamorinda Arts Council and others. Rotary is the sponsor of the dinner, which kicks off the Orinda Classic Car Show weekend.
With "The Italian Job" theme, the party will be all about Italian music (or at least music by famous Italians), food and cars. Red, white and green will be the colors of the night. Decorations chair Jill Gelster has hinted that there may be some giant-sized posters and other surprise amenities to evoke the feeling of being in beautiful Roma. In keeping with the movie theme, there will be an exclusive display of classic Mini Coopers, along with Maseratis and Ferraris.
Because Orinda loves to party, the organizers have included in the auction a holiday-themed group of events that they hope attendees will love to bid on. Here are some examples:
 "Il Vino et la Vendetta," will be the ultimate way to celebrate Halloween: An Italian-themed murder mystery for 12 to 14 people. Characters are played by the party attendees and hosts and are aptly named: Robusto (Rob) Chianti, Val Policella, Malcolm (Mal) Beck, Cher Donay, Vinnie Rouge, Penny Noir, and more.
 "Christmas with the Crawleys" will be a Downton Abbey 1920s extravaganza for 18 to 20 people at the beautiful and historic Casa Azul in Orinda. With each of the seven courses, there will be live entertainment, featuring performers from Miramonte High School, as well as Orinda's own Starlight Village Players.
 A sumptuous Chinese New Year's banquet.
 A St. Patrick's Day poker party and whiskey tasting.
Other auction items include a Tahitian Pearl pendant donated by Morrison's, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly a classic World War II warbird airplane, a week of relaxation in the Florida Keys, as well as a three-day Dude Ranch all-inclusive getaway for four. The exclusive raffle item will be a weekend for four that includes travel by private jet on JetSuiteX Air out of Buchanan Field to Las Vegas, hotel and show included, provided by the Orinda Chamber of Commerce.
The Orinda business community and the Chamber of Commerce have been supporting Orinda Rotary's Dancing with the Cars event since its inception.
"The chamber's motto is that a vibrant community needs a strong local business community," says executive director Sophie Braccini. "The nonprofit associations and the services they are providing are also vital to the well-being of our city. It is only normal that we contribute to this event."
This year the chamber is offering additional auction packages with the support of its members, including a 10-person, three-winery tour and dinner supported by the Lamorinda Winegrowers Association; and six dinners on the town at select Orinda restaurants. "The Chamber is also a beneficiary of the event," noted Braccini.
Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased through the Orinda Classic Car Show or Orinda Rotary websites, and
Twelfth Annual Orinda Classic Car Show Revs Up
By Sora O'Doherty

Orinda's free car show will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Orinda Village. Almost 200 American and European cars will be featured - ranging from the 1920s, to the classics of the 50s and 60s as well as modern exotics - in Saturday's free show.
This year's show will feature a special 1 p.m. visit of vintage and modern Ferraris, including a 1965 275 GTB Competition.
"This year's event will also have shaded seating for guests to enjoy lunch and beverage offerings from our great BBQ booth with classic cars around," says event founder, Chip Herman. He added that at 3 p.m. the show cars will drive down Orinda Way on the annual Classic Car Drive.
The car show is located in Orinda Village at Orinda Motors, 63 Orinda Way. For more information, visit the website at Those interested in entering a vehicle, subscribing to email updates, or attending the pre-show party Sept. 9 may do so online.
The events almost solely funds the "Seniors Around Town" transportation service, an Orinda Association program, in addition to other charities, and has raised more than $350,000 over the past 11 years. Seniors Around Town program manager, Kate Wiley noted that the partnership with the car show organization - its volunteers and supporters - is just as important as the financial support.
"All of their efforts help in spreading awareness of our program to future riders and future volunteer drivers. This partnership is at the heart of what Orinda does so well, bringing people together for a common local good."

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