Region News

Vinny Blancuzzi - We remember....

Vinny Blancuzzi died on April 21st of 2005 at Saint Clare's Hospital in Dover.  He was 36.

VinnyVinny joined the SCCA in October of 1991.  He was a member of the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad and was already a big fan of automobile racing.  His interest in auto racing had been sparked by his father at an early age.  Years later, when he came to Lime Rock as a young man, he must have liked what he saw because he quickly became one of us and was embraced by our SCCA family.

In short order Vinny earned his Flagging and Communications license as well as his Emergency Services license.  Regardless of the region conducting the event, it was a virtual certainty that Vinny would be there working a corner or doing his thing at the track's medical station.

Vinny was a quiet guy.  He was quiet about himself.  Vinny was very quiet about himself.  He was always most interested in the person with whom he was speaking.  Vinny was more interested in you.  Remembering back, it seems that whenever you greeted Vinny, his typical response was, "Hey! How're you doing?" or "Hey! What's happening?"

He never said, "Can you do this for me?"  More often it was, "Can you help me with this?"  Or, hearing that something needed doing, he would simply go and do it.  He wouldn't look to be thanked.  Often, not knowing that Vinny had already taken care of things, when you went to do a task, you discovered that it had already been done.

But as serious as working corners is, Vinny also had time for a lighter side.  A water balloon fight at a gathering of SCCA folks or the silliness of squirting Redi-Whip all over in the cab of the Region's van well, each of these was possible with Vinny.  He loved to have fun.

He was awarded the honor of NESCCA Worker of the Year in 2002 affirmation of the high regard which the Flagging & Communications community as well as the entire SCCA NorthEast Division held for his abilities and his dedication.

In 2004, when he became ill, he was examined at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the city.  He had to endure over a month of daily radiation treatments at Sloan-Kettering.  Showing their love for him, his friends rose to the occasion and made themselves available to drive him to Manhattan and back to Berkeley Heights each day.

He not only loved the SCCA and the sport, but he also found his love in the SCCA.  Robin & Vinny.  Vinny & Robin.  If you saw one, then you also saw the other.  They attended our Region's meetings together.  At our Annual Dinner or at the Region's Worker Party each January, they were there together.  On the first Friday of the month labeling the newsletter at Robin's Vinny was always there.

Vinny loved kids.  And kids loved Vinny.  Jessica and Rachel and Kenneth all loved him.  All the tykes in our SCCA family loved Vinny because he would take the time to play and kid around with them.

Vinny is survived by his folks Diane and Vincent Sr., by his love Robin, by his two brothers Jeffrey and Stephen, and by his SCCA family of friends.