LANTZ: The late Ritchie Gilby continues to give back to the community and organizations he loved.
Ritchie’s widow, Suzanne, said the inaugural Ritchie Gilby Memorial Car Show held in his honour at the East Hants Sportsplex on June 18 raised more than $14,000. Almost 200 unique cars registered for the event.
“The event was a huge success,” said Suzanne. “The car show will continue to see that his legacy of giving back to the community will live on.”
What Ritchie meant to so many was clearly evident with the nearly 160 cars that showed up; the many sponsors and businesses that donated their time or items for the silent auction; the musicians that came to perform, including Johnny Rock and J.D. Clarke to name a couple, to the fire departments that showed up with a crew (Lantz, Elmsdale, Shubenacadie, and a fire truck from Springhill); EHS mascot Bearamedic; to the young racers who got to know him through his sponsorship of the no. 25 of Gage Gilby.
Suzanne thanked Angie and Jeff Bannister and Cheryl Cyr, who played key roles in making the car show a reality.
“It was the Bannisters who reached out and said, “we want to help, we want to do a car show,” said Suzanne. “The success of the show is largely because of their support.
She said the Gilby, and Bannister families are now intertwined as Angie, Jeff and Kevin also tragically lost their son & brother Braeden two years ago due to a sudden cardiac event at home.
“We like to think Ritchie is taking care of Braeden in heaven and we are confident this is the case,” she said.
Gilby was an extremely active member of the East Hants Community, a community that has always been home to him. Ritchie loved East Hants, and he couldn’t imagine raising his girls anywhere else. He loved the natural beauty, the small-town charm, the familiar places, and the history.
Well-known and respected in the community as Gilby Construction and Jerry and Pritchard’s Septic Service, Ritchie built his business to model what he learned from other business owners and from his paramedic colleagues. He never underestimated the value of having a strong work ethic and building supportive relationships, said Suzanne.
“Ritchie believed in the potential of young people, and his giving heart always ensured children were sponsored in varying sporting events and provided bursaries for post-secondary education,” said Suzanne in part of her speech to the large crowd on hand June 18. “He was an avid sponsor of Tide Fest at the East Hants Sportsplex.
“He generously donated to the Enfield Beautification Society, and supported families in need at Christmas. He worked hard so that he could give back to others.”
Suzanne had many thank you’s to pass on.
“To all those who came and supported the event it was great to see so many new and familiar faces, to the many participants who shined up their cars and proudly displayed them for us all to enjoy, thank you,” she said.
“We look forward to seeing you all next year which we anticipate will be even larger.”
The $14,325 raised will be given to the many organizations and programs that Gilby supported locally, said Suzanne smiling as she concluded the interview with The Laker News.