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
11 Jul

James D. Rielly Foundation Announces First Annual Christmas in July Brunch and Charity Toy Drive

Christmas in July Brunch

Christmas in July toy drive to benefit children and families of veterans, active military, first responders, and others in need.

Providence, RI USA July 9, 2018 — The James D. Rielly Foundation in conjunction with Skyline at Waterplace will be hosting a Christmas in July Brunch and Charity Toy Drive to support those in need. The event will take place at Skyline at Waterplace on Sunday, July 29 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Tickets are $30 and include brunch buffet, free valet parking, and free pictures with Santa Claus.

The organizers ask attendees to please bring a new, unwrapped toy. Toys collected will be distributed to local families in need through the James D. Rielly Foundation. For many, this will be their only gift this holiday season. Members of the James D. Rielly Foundation will also be on-site if attendees wish to make a financial donation or give a gift card instead of a toy.

“Our mission is simple: To spread Christmas cheer throughout the year”, stated Michael Rielly, president and chief merriment officer at James D. Rielly Foundation, Inc. “The James D. Rielly Foundation works year-round to provide charitable and emotional support to the children and families of veterans, active military, first responders, and others in need in our community”.

“We are so happy to support the James D. Rielly Foundation with our Christmas in July Brunch,” said Michael Mota, CEO at Skyline at Waterplace. “Together we can help lift the spirits of those most in-need”.

DATE AND TIME
Sunday, July 29, 2018
11:00 am to 2:00 pm

LOCATION
Skyline at Waterplace
1 Finance Way, Providence RI 02903

TICKETS
Seating is limited. To reserve a ticket, please visit Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christmas-in-july-brunch-tickets-46212173856

About James D. Rielly Foundation, Inc.
Founded in 2017 by Michael Rielly, the James D. Rielly Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer corporation, funded entirely by private donations. The James D. Rielly Foundation provides charitable and emotional support to the children and families of military and first responders hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges. To learn more, visit: www.jdrfoundation.org. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

27 Apr

April 27, 1972 – James D. Rielly Awarded Citation

James D Rielly Awarded Citation

Throughout his career, Jim Rielly received numerous letters of recognition from celebrities and dignitaries. We came across this announcement in the archives of the Bristol Phoenix. From the April 27, 1972 issue of the Bristol Phoenix.

James D. Rielly Awarded Citation
James D. Rielly well known for his roles as Santa Claus and Charlie Weaver was the recipient of an official citation from the Rhode Island House of Representatives last week.

The citation, proposed by Rep Gaetano Parella, and signed by the Speaker of House and the Secretary of State, offers sincere congratulations to Mr. Rielly and is awarded “in recognition of his bringing joy and laughter to the sick, retarded and elderly.

15 Mar

What is the meaning behind the James D. Rielly Foundation logo?

James D. Rielly Foundation

The “mark” in the James D. Rielly Foundation logo is a four leaf clover. According to Irish folklore, the four leaves of the clover represent: hope, faith, love, and luck.

James D. Rielly Foundation mark

The clover represents the immense pride Jim Rielly had for his Irish heritage. Jim would often jokingly refer to himself as the Visible President of the Leprechauns.

The shade of green in the clover is the same green in the flag of Ireland.

Each leaf in the clover is in the shape of a heart. The single red leaf (or heart) represents the love Jim Rielly had for his country, the community, and the less fortunate.

The red also symbolizes Jim Rielly’s role as Santa Claus and his love for all children.

heart

Lastly, the single red leaf among the three green leaves, represents Michael Rielly’s Italian and Irish heritage and the continuing of his grandfather’s legacy as Santa Claus.

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!

01 Mar

Found: A 700-Year-Old Ring Adorned With St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas ring
During the Middle Ages, it was not uncommon for wearers to don multiple rings, each signaling a different aspect of identity, from social class to political affiliation.

Last month, Dekel Ben-Shitrit, a 26-year-old gardener, found a 700-year-old bronze ring bearing an engraved image of St. Nicholas. The ring was studied by Dr. Yana Tchekhanovetz, an expert in Byzantine history at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“This special ring is amazingly well preserved and will contribute a great deal to science,” she explained, in a statement. “On the ring is the image of a bald man with a staff next to him. On preliminary examination, this seems to be St. Nicholas holding a bishop’s crook – his hallmark.”

Christian pilgrims to the Land of Israel from all over the Byzantine Empire (Turkey, the Balkans, Greece and present-day Russia) would carry his icon to protect them from harm. It is probable that the ring belonged to a pilgrim who sought the protection of St. Nicholas on his travels.

31 Jan

U.S. Senate: James D. Rielly – A Truly Remarkable Santa Claus

On January 31, 1979 — thirty-nine (39) years ago today, Senator Claiborne Pell entered Jim Rielly’s name to the United States Congressional Record.

In 1979, Jim Rielly was celebrating 51 years of donning the Red Suit. Jim went on to portray the Jolly Old Elf for the next 12 years, making him the longest running Santa Claus to date.

JAMES D. RIELLY – TRULY REMARKABLE “SANTA CLAUS: FROM RHODE ISLAND
Mr. President, before the pleasures and memories of the recent holiday season slip our minds completely, I would like to share with my colleagues a tribute to a truly remarkable “Santa Claus” from Rhode Island.

I am referring to Mr. James D. Rielly of Bristol, R.I. This past holiday period marks the 51st year in which Jim Rielly has donned red suit and white whiskers and with a large bag of goodies has visited hospitals, senior centers, and children’s centers throughout the East Bay area of Rhode Island.

His is a particularly effective and welcome presentation of Saint Nicholas because Jim Rielly is himself the personification of the spirit of cheerful, selfless giving of oneself for the benefit of others.

I am proud to be among the many thousands of Rhode Islanders who claim to be good friends of Jim Rielly, and I join all of those friends in the mutual hope that Jim will be bringing his special brand of seasonal joy to Rhode Island for many years more years.

U.S. Congressional Record 1979

In 2010, Jim Rielly was entered into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame in recognition of his extraordinary selflessness and kindness, and his contribution to the Santa Claus community.

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

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.

28 Jul

Jim Rielly’s Bench

James D. Rielly Foundation

A big thank you to Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente and the Bristol Department of Public Works for repairs to Jim Rielly’s bench in Rockwell Park.

Thank you again!

24 Jul

International Santa Claus Hall of Fame

James D. Rielly Foundation

James D. Rielly – Inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – Charter Member 2010 Inaugural Class.

“A Truly Remarkable Santa Claus from Rhode Island”
Bristol, Rhode Island
1908 – 1991

International Santa Claus Hall of Fame Charter Member – December 2010

James D. “Jimmy” Rielly’s career as Rhode Island’s most recognizable Santa Claus spanned over 60 years. He began his Santa Claus career in 1927 at the age of 19 at an abandoned chicken coop where several underprivileged children had made their home.
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