Only the sun beamed more brightly than the smiles on the faces of those attending the Sept. 22 grand opening of AAA Northeast’s newest branch in East Providence, R.I.
“Do you have a AAA card?” asked Marketing Manager Bethany Corwin, as she and Vice President of Branch Operations Rick DelNero welcomed them with wide grins. “I can swipe you to enter to win our door prize.”
As members like East Providence resident Keri Wimpling and her daughter, Emily, handed over their AAA cards, Bethany ran them through a portable reader, logging information to enter a raffle for the festively wrapped umbrellas and other swag.
From there, the more than 240 members who attended embarked on a tour of everything AAA Northeast offers members: discounts, financial services, insurance offerings, battery testing and more.
“Members wanted to be educated,” said Holly Smith, a financial services representative at the Barrington, R.I., branch. “It’s good to get the word out.”
AAA roadside technician Nelson Cedeno agreed.
“We replaced two batteries today,” he said. “The more battery testing we do on a warm, nice day the better. That way, we don’t have to catch up with as many people in the winter. It’s a lot harder with weather conditions and safety issues.”
About 60 children attended, Corwin said. Longtime members were on hand as well, including one whose membership began in 1957 and others, like Julia Silva, who joined when she was 16 and brought her son, Giovanni, 9, for the Touch-a-Truck event.
The trucks were a hit with kids of all ages as they savored free snow cones being handed out at the Kona Ice truck stationed near the entrance.
“A lot of our neighbors came out and welcomed us today,” said Thomas Ryan, the East Providence branch manager. “They’re excited to have us here, not just East Providence residents, but also the surrounding communities – half the license plates that passed me today are Massachusetts plates.”
For other AAA branch locations, visit AAA.com/Branches.