Dave Green retires as car show organizer in Medina

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 September 2023 at 7:58 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Cars are on display at Medina’s Canal Basin. A volunteer is needed to lead the weekly summer cruise nights.

MEDINA – A tradition of nearly 30 years in Medina may come to an end, with Dave Green’s announcement he is retiring as organizer of Medina’s Friday night cruise-ins in the canal basin.

“It’s time somebody else does it,” Green said. “I hurt my leg and it’s hard to walk anymore.”

Green has been involved in the summer cruise nights since they began nearly 30 years ago, when he, Donna Mruczek and Donna Bushover headed the Friday night events.

Dave Green is shown here with Donna Bushover during a Super Cruise in one of the early years of cruise nights in Medina. Former Medina resident Donna Mruczek also was a dedicated volunteer in the weekly events.

Also retiring is DJ Hank Nevins, who has provided music for most of those years.

United Way has been the sponsor of the cruise-ins for many years, and interim director Nyla Gaylord said she hopes someone will step up to take them over.

The cruise-ins have been a popular event all the years, for car owners and the community. Green said drivers brought their vehicles from all over Western New York, including Amherst, Batavia, Niagara Falls, Clarence, Akron, Rochester and the Southern Tier. Regular Friday nights drew 80 to 100 vehicles, while the final Super Cruise on Main Street often brought 300.

The cruise-ins always featured 50-50 drawings, which netted a donation to United Way, as well as the winner.

This year’s profits were lower, as the event was canceled four times because of rain.

It had become a tradition for the cruise-in to move to the 4-H Fairgrounds on the Friday of fair week, and on Main Street for the final cruise on the third Wednesday of August, featuring Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald.

Green said he couldn’t have done what he did all those years without the help of several dedicated volunteer helpers. Rick and Rita Soule, Nick and Karen Adams, Gerard and Carrie Wittmyer, Brad Shelp, Vera Wetherbee and Terry and Liz Gallo were on hand every week to help with checking in cars and selling 50/50 tickets.

A big thanks also is due to the Medina Police Department, DPW and downtown businesses for their support.

Green said he feared the event would eventually die a “natural death,” as many of the car owners are getting elderly.

The job as organizer involves soliciting donations from Medina businesses, many of whom have been regular supporters of cruise nights. Donations pay for prizes for vehicle owners and the DJ.

It is hoped an individual (individuals) or an organization will step up to take charge of keeping the cruise night tradition alive. Green has said he will work with anyone who takes it over.

United Way extends its heartfelt thanks to Green for all the years he has given up his Friday nights, and many more hours, to lead the car shows.

Besides a new organizer, the events could also use a local DJ to play music for a couple of hours.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Terry Buchwald, an Elvis Presley impersonator for more than 30 years, arrives in downtown Medina on a motorcycle (with a license plate, “ELVIS”) during the Super Cruise on Aug. 28, 2019. Buchwald performed for two hours on a stage. About 250 to 300 cars are featured in the Super Cruise, with part of Main Street blocked off to traffic for the event.