There were 25 wheeled vehicles at the ninth annual Blessing of the Wheels in front of St. George’s Anglican Church on Fifth Street on Sunday morning.
Father Jonathon Hoskin officiated as he blessed cars, motorcycles and bicycles. It’s his fourth year of involvement in the event, but Blessing of the Wheels has been occurring for the past nine years, according to organizer Diane Fontaine.
"Anyone who comes to St. George’s inherits the role," she said with a chuckle.
This was the first year that the "Tin for the Bin for Samaritan House" fundraiser was held. "It’s the first time Blessing of the Wheels donations are going to Samaritan House, St. George’s preferred charity," Fontaine said behind her mask.
The event was held in accordance to the most recent public health orders. Participants stayed in their cars and on their motorcycles while Hoskin sprinkled holy water on their vehicle and said a simple prayer.
"I ask the Lord to bless the vehicle and the people inside," he told The Sun.
"It’s a way for us and our vehicles to be blessed before our busy cruising season," Fontaine said.
Fontaine is the conduit between St. George’s and Road Rebels car club, which she has been a member of for the past 17 years.
"We all know how fast or unexpected something might happen on the roads and highways we travel," she said.
Participants were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items, but $55 was raised for Samaritan House.
While participants waited their turn for the blessing from Hoskin, the prayer was for the people and the vehicle.
"As kids, we used to pray before long trips," he told the Sun.
While fewer than 10 people stood outside their vehicles while Hoskin gave a short service, everyone wore masks and kept their distance.
Cars sparkled under the warm morning sun as drivers patiently waited for the blessing.
Ron Storey’s 1938 International truck sat close to the front of the line. It’s his first year participating in the Blessing of the Wheels. He has been working on his vehicle for six years.
Trevor Calinowich brought his wife’s 1946 Hudson Coupe.
Calinowich, a member of the Road Rebels, said it’s the first time the Hudson was blessed.