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.


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.


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 passion for car care transcends the research, development, and the manufacturing of high quality category leading products.
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 Jun

Christmas in July Brunch Fundraiser and Toy Drive

Christmas in July Brunch

Join us for Christmas in July!

We invite you to join us for our Christmas in July Brunch Fundraiser and Toy Drive. This event is presented by Skyline at Waterplace and helps the James D. Rielly Foundation’s mission to support the children and families of military personnel and first responders hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges.

DATE: Sunday, July 29, 2018

TIME: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Skyline at Waterplace 1 Finance Way, Providence, RI 02903

TICKETS: Tickets are only $30 and include:

  • Brunch Buffet
  • Free Valet Parking
  • Free pictures with Santa Claus!

Please bring a new, unwrapped toy. Toys collected will be distributed to local families in need through the James D. Rielly Foundation.

[fruitful_btn link = “https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christmas-in-july-brunch-tickets-46212173856″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener””]PURCHASE TICKETS[/fruitful_btn]

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

11 Mar

The Gift This of Santa: Himself

As we continue to go through our archives of past news articles on Jim Rielly, we will post them here. Yesterday, we came across this article from a December 1957 issue of the Providence Journal-Bulletin.

Providence Journal-Bulletin

The Real Santa in Bristol County is (ssshhhh) James D. Rielly

To become Santa Claus takes more than a white beard, red suit and sack full of gifts; the real Santa Chars must have an honest love for his fellow men. In Bristol you will find a real Santa Claus.

About 30 years ago, James D. Rielly stuffed his first pair of red trousers with the pillows to acquire the portliness of Santa. Time and appetite have eliminated the need for pillows, but the month of December still finds Mr. Rielly standing in red trousers.

Mr. Rielly buys very few of the gifts he passes out during the Christmas season. The real Santa Claus depends on others to provide the gift-wrapped parcels that are found beneath the Christmas tree. All Jim Rielly provides is that unnamed thing that helps an oldtimer recall a warm and happy memory of times past, or the nervous smile of delight that floods a youngster’s face when confronted by Santa Claus.

This is what the real Santa Claus gives at Christmas-time. Jim Rielly gives of himself at Christmas. The sack slung over his shoulder is always overflowing with good cheer. Whether he is stopping at a lonely lighthouse or at a party for shut-ins or at a children’s party, his eyes twinkle brightly as he peers over the tops of his silver rimmed spectacles.

His suit was tailored by a friend; his boots, spectacles and even the fur trim that edges his jacket were gifts. His beard was a Christmas present from his wife.

When asked why, Jim Rielly will tell you he becomes Santa Claus at Christmastime because it is the best thing he can give. You won’t find Jim Rielly enthroned in a department store, but you will find a Jim Rielly in the true spirit of Christmas.

For Jim Rielly gives the best thing he can at Christmas. He gives himself.

What are your memories of Jim Rielly? Please share them. We would love to hear from you!

26 Dec

Warren RI, Family Gets Christmas Surprise

WARREN, R.I. (WJAR) — The Warren Fire Department, along with volunteers, made the holiday season a little more merry and bright for a family of six. And it was all a big surprise.

“I first was told to put on my shoes, and then I heard the sirens,” Chloe Durand told NBC 10 News Wednesday night. “And then I saw Santa Claus.”

Santa was happy to help.

“You’ll be unwrapping for weeks,” he told the family.

The truth is, it’s been a hard year for the Durand family. About eight months ago, Maya Durand was hit by a car. She suffered two broken legs. While she is lucky to be alive, the crash ultimately put their family through financial hardship.

“We just had struggles from there on out,” Sarah Durand said. “And, so this is unbelievable.”

But in this special moment, Chloe, Maya, Jonna and the youngest, Wyatt, forgot all their troubles.

“Thank you doesn’t seem enough to say,” Sarah said.

They were swept with joy – and even Santa got emotional.

“It did bring a little tear to Santa’s eyes his year,” he said.

The James D. Rielly Foundation coordinated the efforts.

SOURCE: http://turnto10.com/news/local/warren-family-gets-christmas-surprise

27 Nov

James D. Rielly Foundation Helps Santa Visit Those in Need

James D. Rielly Foundation

Photo: Jennifer McGrath Winegeart

James D. Rielly Foundation Helps Santa Visit Those 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.

This year, Michael established a nonprofit in his grandfather’s name to preserve his legacy and continue his work of spreading holiday cheer. According to the James D. Rielly Foundation website, jdrfoundation.org, “In 1928 at the age of nineteen, Jim Rielly appeared as Santa Claus for a family living in an abandoned chicken coop. For more than sixty years, he would bring cheer to orphanages, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, churches, charitable organizations, military bases and the Rhode Island State House.”

SOURCE: http://www.rimonthly.com/james-d-rielly-foundation-helps-santa-visit-need/

29 Aug

James D. Rielly Foundation Receives 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status

James D. Rielly Foundation

Rhode Island based charity helps the children and families of veterans, active military, and first responders.

Providence, RI (PRWEB) August 29, 2017

The James D. Rielly Foundation is proud to announce that it has been formerly granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Contributions donated to the James D. Rielly Foundation are fully tax-deductible retroactive to the founding of the organization.

The James D. Rielly Foundation is also now eligible to apply for government and foundation grants, which will further broaden its access to resources and strengthen its ability to serve the members of the community.

Funded entirely by private donations, The James D. Rielly Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer organization founded by Michael Rielly to honor the life and legacy of his grandfather, James D Rielly. The Foundation provides charitable support to the children and families of veterans, active military, and first responders.

Born in 1908, James (Jim) D. Rielly was a lifelong resident of Bristol Rhode Island and well known throughout New England for his kindness, generosity, and countless charitable acts. Over the course of his lifetime, Jim Rielly was the recipient of numerous awards and received letters of recognition from celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world; Eleanor Roosevelt, Senators Theodore Francis Green, Claiborne Pell, and John Chafee, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, and even his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, just to name a few.

Jim Rielly was best known as Rhode Island’s own “Santa Claus”, where he portrayed the role of Jolly Old St. Nick for over 60 years. Much of his time in the red suit was spent bringing joy to the children and families of servicemen and women and first responders.

“In honor of my grandfather’s dedication to the community and those less fortunate, we established the James D. Rielly Foundation in his name”, stated Michael Rielly, James D. Rielly Foundation President. “Our mission is 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.”

The IRS letter granting James D. Rielly Foundation its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is available upon request. For donation inquiries, please contact info(at)jdrfoundation(dot)org or visit www.jdrfoundation.org.

About James D. Rielly Foundation, Inc.
The James D. Rielly Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, organized exclusively for charitable, religious, fraternal organizations, and educational purposes, including, the distribution of funds primarily to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under 501(c)(3). The James D. Rielly Foundation believes in giving back to the community both locally and nationally. We believe helping those in need will inspire others to do the same and in turn, improve the quality of life for all. To learn more, visit: www.jdrfoundation.org. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.