Car show comes to ailing Niles man

Dennis Hake in Niles.


NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – A Niles family is enjoying every minute they have together with Dennis Nelson Hake.

The 60-year-old Hake has serious health issues, including suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. His family does not know how much time he has left.

This summer, the wheelchair-bound Hake wanted to go to a car show in Lordstown, but the heat made it heard for him to breathe, so he never made it.

Hake’s caretaker, April Caruso-Richards, knew how important the car show was to Hake, so she thought, “Why not bring the car show to him?”

But Caruso-Richards said she never expected the hundreds of people that showed up in classic cars for Dennis.

“I just wanted a few cars for him, because I knew he would really like it,” she said.

Caruso-Richards posted her request online Tuesday, and word quickly spread — bringing classic car owners from the community and beyond.

Mike Lowe, who participated in the car cruise, said it was all word of mouth that brought the drivers to Hake’s doorstep.

“We just spread the word to our friends, and they spread the word to their friends, and now, here we are,” he said.

“There’s so many people that I don’t know, that Dennis doesn’t know,” Caruso-Richards said, in tears.

Dennis’s wife, Dolly Hake, said she was touched.

“We didn’t expect people that didn’t know him to do this for him,” she said, adding that his health continues to decline.

“We don’t know how much time he has left… We hope that he will always remember this,” she said.

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