NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The parking lot of Advance Auto Parts on Church Street was wet and wild Saturday morning, and that isn’t unusual.
Since the auto parts store opened five years ago, its manager, Rich Curry, has encouraged school, sports and civic groups to take advantage of his hospitality, space and location on the main thoroughfare of the community.
Saturday, members of the Northbridge Youth Softball Association were there, raising money to build dugouts at the Linwood fields with a car wash and tag sale.
There was an added element to the car wash and tag sale this year – a chance to win a 71.5-pound pumpkin grown by NYSA mom Wendy Timmons. She bought the white giant pumpkin seeds for 50 cents at Job Lot, she said.
“I threw them into the ground and there they went,’’ she said, pointing to the impressive fruit of her labor.
Sean Kelly, a member of the NYSA parents group, said Advance Auto Parts is a tremendous help to the all the organizations in town.
This summer, the parking lot had an event or benefit almost every weekend, Curry said. Advance Auto Parts provides the rags, sponges and soap. The organization is asked to bring a hose and pails.
“We always try to help the community,’’ Curry said. “They (organizations) do pretty well at these things.’’
Advance Auto Parts is the second largest auto parts retailer in the United States, he said, “with 3,600 stores the counting.’’ The company also is conducting a campaign to fight juvenile diabetes.