29 Mar

Cruise-in for a Cause 7 – Charity Car Show

2024 Cruise-In for a Cause Charity Car Show

2024 Cruise-In for a Cause

Sunday, August 11, 2024

RAIN DATE: Sunday, August 18, 2024

Mount Hope Farm
250 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Only $20 per car!
FREE admission for spectators

The James D. Rielly Foundation is holding its seventh annual “Cruise-In for a Cause Charity Car Show” to benefit the children and families of our military, law enforcement, first responders and the Bristol Santa House on Sunday, August 11, 2024 at Mount Hope Farm in beautiful Bristol, Rhode Island.

TROPHIES – FOOD TRUCKS – VENDORS – MUSIC – BEST IN SHOW WINS $500!

Cars and trucks of every kind will be there — Antiques, Classics, Muscle Cars, Hot Rods and Special Interest cars of all types and sizes. Called the Best Charity Car Show in the East Bay — the James D. Rielly Foundation Cruise-In for a Cause Charity Car Show includes trophies, food trucks, specialty vendors, 50/50 raffle, music by Triple J DJ, and a $500 cash prize for Best in Show.

click to download flyer

Commemorative dash plaque, t-shirt, and goodie bag for the first 50 cars!

Come and enjoy the weather and support a great cause. Bring the family and spend some time after the event exploring the quaint shops of Bristol.

For more information about this event or how you can help support the work of the James D. Rielly Foundation, please contact us.

Can’t attend, but would like to support? No contribution is too small. Your gift is 100% tax deductible and will help bring unconditional love, hope, and joy to families in need.


SPONSORS

We would like to give special thanks to those organizations that have provided their support for this year’s event. Our Sponsors generously provide cash or in kind goods and services.

Meguiar's
Meguiar's passion for car care transcends the research, development, and the manufacturing of high quality category leading products.
RockAuto
RockAuto ships auto parts and body parts from over 300 manufacturers to customers' doors worldwide, all at warehouse prices.
Summit Racing
Parts for anything you drive, cars, trucks, powersports, tube chassis, and marine. Summit Racing, built and operated by motorsports enthusiasts for over 50 years.
EATON Detroit Spring
We help maintain American icons by manufacturing leaf and coil springs right here in America
24 Sep

The Bristol Santa House Returns on November 12 for the 2023 Holiday Season

The Bristol Santa House benefits children with special needs and their families regardless of circumstance

Bristol, Rhode Island (PRWEB) 9/25/2022 – The James D. Rielly Foundation is excited to announce the return of the Bristol Santa House™ this holiday season. Opening day for the magical Christmas experience is set for November 12, 2023.

After an overwhelmingly successful inaugural season in 2022, the Bristol Santa House is coming back to spread holiday cheer and create cherished memories. The Bristol Santa House will once again provide a one-of-a-kind experience where children of all abilities can share their Christmas wishes, drop off letters to Santa, and meet Mr. Claus himself.

“Families traveled from several states to visit. We can’t wait to build on that excitement and spread even more holiday magic with our new location.”

Relocated this year to 240 High Street next to the historic Bristol Statehouse, the Bristol Santa House aims to be even more accessible and continue strengthening Bristol’s sense of community.

“We were blown away by the response to the Bristol Santa House last year,” said Michael Rielly, Founder and Chief Merriment Officer of the James D. Rielly Foundation. “Families traveled from several states to visit. We can’t wait to build on that excitement and spread even more holiday magic with our new location.”

A project of the James D. Rielly Foundation, the Bristol Santa House is a unique holiday destination designed to bring joy and Christmas cheer to children and families, regardless of their physical, mental, or financial challenges. Last year, the Santa House attracted visitors from all over the northeast, becoming a popular attraction in Rhode Island and southern New England.

Mark your calendars – the Bristol Santa House returns on November 12. Help spread cheer this season and be part of something special. For a full calendar of dates and times or for information on opportunities for sponsorship or support for the Bristol Santa House, please visit the website at: www.bristolsantahouse.org

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For information on opportunities for sponsorship or support for the Bristol Santa House, download the 2023 Bristol Santa House Sponsorship Kit.

18 Aug

A Heartfelt Thank You to Starbucks!

Dear Starbucks Seekonk and the entire Starbucks community,

On behalf of the James D. Rielly Foundation, we want to extend our deepest gratitude for your incredible support and generosity in collecting several toys for our annual toy drive. It’s heartwarming to see businesses like Starbucks step up and make a real difference in our communities.

Thanks to you, the Bristol Santa House will be filled with joy and smiles as we deliver these toys to the wonderful kids with special needs. Your contribution not only provides gifts but also brings hope, happiness, and the magic of the holiday season to these children and their families.

Your kind gesture reinforces the spirit of community and the power of coming together for a cause. We are endlessly grateful and proud to have Starbucks by our side in making the world a little brighter for those who need it most.

Here’s to more cups of kindness, and to the power of community! ☕🎁

06 Jun

Cruise-in for a Cause 6 – Charity Car Show and Toy Drive

Cruise-in for a Cause 6

2023 Cruise-In for a Cause

Sunday, August 13, 2023

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Registration 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Mount Hope Farm
250 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809

The James D. Rielly Foundation will be holding its SIXTH annual “Cruise-In for a Cause Charity Car Show and Toy Drive” to benefit the children and families of our military, law enforcement, first responders and the Bristol Santa House on Sunday, August 13, 2023 at Mount Hope Farm in beautiful Bristol, Rhode Island.

Included in the show will be cars of every kind: Antiques, Classics, Muscle Cars, Hot Rods and Special Interest cars of all types and sizes. Food trucks, specialty vendors, a 50/50 raffle, and music by Triple J DJ will make this day one to be remembered.

Commemorative dash plaque, t-shirt, and goodie bag for the first 50 cars!

Come and enjoy the weather and support a great cause. Bring the family and spend some time after the event exploring the quaint shops of Bristol.

REGISTRATION
Only $20 per car OR $10 and one (1) new unwrapped toy
Spectators are FREE

For more information about this event or how you can help support the work of the James D. Rielly Foundation, please contact us.

Can’t attend, but would like to donate? No contribution is too small. Your gift is 100% tax deductible and will help bring unconditional love, hope, and joy to families in need.


SPONSORS

We would like to give special thanks to those organizations that have provided their support for this year’s event. Our Sponsors generously provide cash or in kind goods and services.

Starbucks
With every cup, with every conversation, with every community – we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection.
Meguiar's
Meguiar's passion for car care transcends the research, development, and the manufacturing of high quality category leading products.
Seasons Corner Market
Seasons Corner Market is family owned and operated. We provide you with the best neighborhood convenience store shopping experience in New England!
RockAuto
RockAuto ships auto parts and body parts from over 300 manufacturers to customers' doors worldwide, all at warehouse prices.
EATON Detroit Spring
We help maintain American icons by manufacturing leaf and coil springs right here in America
Bristol Sunset Cafe
Comfy, neighborhood nook offering classic breakfast & lunch bites from omelets to grilled cheese.
Summit Racing
Parts for anything you drive, cars, trucks, powersports, tube chassis, and marine. Summit Racing, built and operated by motorsports enthusiasts for over 50 years.
Viking Bags
Motorcycle Saddlebags for all the major brands are available on cheap prices. Viking Offers huge range for motorcycle leather and hard saddlebags. Check out the Viking Bags and other websites, Born Tough, and Elite Sports.

Check out the Viking Bags and other websites, Born Tough, and Elite Sports.

04 Dec

Bristol’s own ‘Santa House’ exudes Christmas spirit

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Santa Claus has moved into America’s most patriotic town. The so-called “Santa House” magically appeared in downtown Bristol just after Thanksgiving. It’s the brainchild of Michael Rielly, a lifelong Bristolian and founder of the James D. Rielly Foundation.

“Folks all know Bristol for the Fourth of July, but it’s also very much a Hallmark-type location,” Rielly explained.

Rielly, who has also dubbed himself the chief merriment officer, said the Santa House offers children of all ages and abilities the chance to celebrate the holidays.

“What we’re trying to do here is create a place where kids with special needs and their families can come and share Christmas their wishes with Santa,” Rielly explained. “We really wanted to create a place just for them. It’s going to be open for other kids and it’s going to be open to the public, but this is the real purpose of the Santa House.”

https://www.wpri.com/news/street-stories/bristols-own-santa-house-exudes-the-spirit-of-christmas/

29 Aug

The James D. Rielly Foundation Introduces the Bristol Santa House

Bristol Santa House

The Bristol Santa House will benefit children with special needs and their families regardless of circumstance

Bristol, Rhode Island (PRWEB) 9/1/2022 – Since 2017, the James D. Rielly Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit all-volunteer organization, has helped bring Christmas cheer year-round to children and families throughout Rhode Island and Southern New England. Today, the organization announced they are bringing a real live Santa Claus House to Bristol, Rhode Island.

The Bristol Santa House will be a one-of-a-kind place for children of all ages and abilities to share holiday wishes, drop off a letter to Santa, or even meet the head elf himself, regardless of physical, mental, or financial challenges. The goal of the Santa House is to create a family-friendly holiday destination full of joy, whimsy, and nostalgia, where the season comes alive through interactive experiences and Hallmark-worthy moments.

“Every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas regardless of circumstance,” stated Michael Rielly, founder and chief merriment officer of the James D. Rielly Foundation. “Sadly, many children with special needs never have the opportunity to meet with Santa, and some families simply cannot afford Christmas gifts.”

The Santa House will be stocked with new unwrapped toys and clothing items so that children in need can receive a gift during the holiday season, free of charge. The James D. Rielly Foundation and other charitable organizations will donate toys and clothing items.

“Every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas regardless of circumstance,” stated Michael Rielly, founder and chief merriment officer of the James D. Rielly Foundation.

With the support of town officials and local businesses, the James D. Rielly Foundation believes the Bristol Santa Claus House will become a popular attraction in the East Bay and, possibly, all of Rhode Island. The Santa Claus House will also be accessible to other charities and community organizations focused on helping families or children in need.

“We believe the Bristol Santa House will create cherished and lasting memories for families and children for years to come,” reiterated Michael Rielly.

The James D. Rielly Foundation will fund the construction of the Bristol Santa House; however, they are seeking sponsors to assist with providing gifts to needy families.

For information on opportunities for sponsorship or support for the Bristol Santa House, please contact the James D. Rielly Foundation at: www.jdrfoundation.org

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For information on opportunities for sponsorship or support for the Bristol Santa House, download the 2022 Bristol Santa House Sponsorship Kit below.

26 Mar

Cruise-in for a Cause 5 – Charity Car Show and Toy Drive

2022 Cruise-In for a Cause

Sunday, August 14, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Registration 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Mount Hope Farm
250 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809

The James D. Rielly Foundation will be holding its FIFTH annual “Cruise-In for a Cause Charity Car Show and Toy Drive” to benefit the children and families of our military, law enforcement, and first responders on Sunday, August 14, 2022 at Mount Hope Farm in beautiful Bristol, Rhode Island.

Included in the show will be cars of every kind: Antiques, Classics, Muscle Cars, Hot Rods and Special Interest cars of all types and sizes. Food trucks, specialty vendors, a 50/50 raffle, and music by DJ Car-Guy will make this day one to be remembered.

Commemorative dash plaques and goodie bags for the first 100 cars!

Come and enjoy the weather and support a great cause. Bring the family and spend some time after the event exploring the quaint shops of Bristol.

REGISTRATION
Only $20 per car OR $10 and one (1) new unwrapped toy
Spectators are FREE

For more information about this event or how you can help support the work of the James D. Rielly Foundation, please contact us.

Can’t attend, but would like to donate? No contribution is too small. Your gift is 100% tax deductible and will help bring unconditional love, hope, and joy to families in need.

01 May

Happy Birthday Santa!

James D. Rielly

Today is the 113 year anniversary of Jim Rielly’s birthday.

Born in 1908, James (Jim) D. Rielly was a lifelong resident of Bristol Rhode Island. His love for country and community was immediately evident when you met him. In many ways, he was Bristol’s unofficial Ambassador. To paraphrase Yeats: There were no strangers to Jim Rielly; only friends he had not yet met.

Jim Rielly was well known throughout Rhode Island and much of New England for his generosity and countless charitable acts; but most notably, Jim Rielly was known as Rhode Island’s most famous Santa Claus.

His first appearance as Santa Claus was in 1927 at the beginning of the Great Depression. At the age of 19, the young Jim Rielly portrayed Santa Claus for a family living in an abandoned chicken coup.

For the next 62 years, Jim Rielly would continue to appear as Santa Claus wherever he was needed, but primarily at charitable events, nursing homes, hospitals, orphanages, military bases, and private homes.

James D. Rielly Foundation
James D. Rielly Foundation

He took no payment for any of his appearances.

On January 31, 1979 he was entered into the United States Senate Congressional Record as “James D. Rielly – A truly remarkable Santa Claus from Rhode Island”. And on December 22, 2010, he was one of the inaugural inductees into the prestigious International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

James D. Rielly died on November 26, 1991 at the age of 83.

In honor of his kindness and charitable works, the James D. Rielly Foundation was established to preserve his legacy by providing charitable support to the children and the families of military and first responders hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges.

Please consider making a donation to the James D. Rielly Foundation. Your donation is 100% tax deductible and will help bring unconditional love, hope, and joy to needy children and families.

20 Mar

Help Us Make History!

We are excited to be participating in this year’s 401Gives! Please support us by visiting 401gives.org on April 1. ANY donation — even $1 — is greatly appreciated!

Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us! Thank you in advance for your generosity to our organization!

28 Apr

Heroes

James D. Rielly Foundation Board Member, Jodi Leffingwell and her daughter Abbey put together this wonderful video thanking everyone in our community who are on the front lines making sure we stay safe and healthy and have access to essentials.

They are the real heroes!

Music sung and performed by Jodi and Abbey Leffingwell

26 Dec

Michael Rielly Inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly, founder and president of the James D. Rielly Foundation has been inducted into the prestigious International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

Providence, RI USA (PRWEB) – 12/22/2019 – The James D. Rielly Foundation, announced today that founder and president Michael Rielly, has been named to the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Santa Claus community and his charitable work as Santa Claus.

Located in Santa Claus Indiana, the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame is the home of the celebration and study of famous Santa Clauses and Mrs. Clauses of the past and present. This ongoing project is meant to preserve the historical documentation of the many men and women who have greatly contributed to the Legend of Santa Claus.

Nominees were evaluated on eight criteria: overall career, range of appearances, length of service, uniqueness of career, charity, originality, contribution to the Santa world, and service to their community.

A resident of Bristol Rhode Island, Michael Rielly has been described as “Rhode Island’s premier Santa” and an “expert in Santa Claus and all things Christmas”.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame, and I’m humbled to be included in the company of such great Santas and Mrs. Clauses,” said Michael Rielly. “I truly feel blessed”.

In 2010, Michael Rielly’s grandfather, James D. Rielly, also of Bristol RhodeIsland, was one of the inaugural inductees into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

Michael Rielly founded the ClausNet Santa Claus Network in 2007 – the largest community and resource for men and women actors dedicated to the traditions and faithful portrayal of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and all others who devote their time to bringing the magic of Christmas to children of all ages throughout the world.

In 2017, Michael Rielly established the James D. Rielly Foundation; a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization providing support to the children and families of Veterans, active and reserve military, law enforcement, and first responders.

For more information about the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame, visit www.santaclaushall.com.

For more information about the James D. Rielly Foundation, visit www.jdrfoundation.org.

11 Dec

James D. Rielly Foundation Helps Santa Visit Those in Need

December 11, 2019

Bristol resident Michael Rielly spreads Christmas cheer by making appearances as Santa Claus in Rhode Island for local children or families in need.

There’s a real life Santa Claus living right here in Rhode Island. Michael Rielly is from Bristol, Rhode Island, and he donates his time and talent to those who are in need by making appearances as Santa Claus.

Representing Santa is a Rielly family tradition that was started by Michael’s grandfather, James D. Rielly, during the Great Depression. In 2017, Michael established a nonprofit in his grandfather’s name to preserve his legacy and continue his work of spreading holiday cheer.

Read the full article