Newsday
Updated November 15, 2015 8:20 PM


Cool cars take spotlight to aid families of fallen NYPD cops

By    christine.chung@newsday.com

A legion of pristine cars, from Maseratis to Lamborghinis, were emblazoned with the NYPD decal at a car show with a cause Sunday in Melville.

More than 1,000 vehicles, from exotic cars to classics, took over The Refuge restaurant's parking lot at the second annual Run for the Blue, a car show dedicated to the families of fallen NYPD officers.

"Each and every day, the women and men of the police department run for you. Today we run for them," said Bobby Sands, president of the Melville-based Long Island Exotics Club.

Run for the Blue honors the ties between Long Island and the NYPD, Sands said, adding that more than 14,000 city officers reside on the Island.

"When pain is felt by the NYPD, it is felt on Long Island," Sands said.

Run for the Blue's proceeds are donated to the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, a labor union representing NYPD officers, to support widows, widowers and children of fallen officers.

Sunday's car show also featured an honor guard presentation, a bagpipe performance, and two helicopter flyovers.

"This is not just about bringing cars here and showing off," NYCPBA president Patrick Lynch said. "It's about the support of not only New York City police officers, but law enforcement, quite frankly, across the world."

Several speakers, including deacon Jim Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, spoke about the current turmoil in France, in the wake of the Paris attacks. A bagpipe rendition of France's national anthem, "La Marseillaise," was played.

"We pray for the people of Paris and the defeat of ISIS," Murphy said. "We especially pray for the widow, the widower, the children."

Last year, the Long Island Exotics Club raised more than $30,000, and Sands said the group hopes to surpass that amount by an additional $20,000 this year.

Hundreds of spectators, from police officers and their families to car enthusiasts armed with cameras, congregated to check out the colorful array of cars. Amid the revving of engines, people talked shop and clustered around several rarer models, including a Porsche 918 worth $1.4 million.

Car enthusiast Billy Raven, of Lindenhurst, said the show united two disparate communities, joking that the car clubs weren't generally fond of the police because they were always getting ticketed.

"It's very rare that you put these two together," Raven, 35, said. "We put our differences aside."

NYPD Officer Danielle Poulsen, also of Lindenhurst, said seeing the community's support firsthand was an awesome experience.

"We go out every day; we risk our lives every day," Poulsen, 32, said. "It's nice to see that people come and support us, especially in the times going on right now."