Story by Lourice Angie
The Kaytes family, owners of Leo Kaytes Ford in Warwick, gathered on Fri., Aug. 18 with friends, State and Town officials, members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, and members of the community to celebrate the unveiling of the newly renovated family operated dealership. Leo Kaytes Ford has been in Warwick for almost 40 years.
The open house was part of a two day celebration which was held on Fri., Aug. 18 and Sat., Aug. 19. A ribbon cutting took place on Friday morning, followed by an open house that continued on Saturday. Hot and cold hor d’oeuvres, refreshments, raffle prizes, huge sales, and savings were offered each day. For every person who attended the event, Leo Kaytes donated to the Backpack Snack Attack Program, which helps feed hungry children within our community.
Race car driver Sean Corr, of Goshen, made a special guest appearance with a Richard Petty #43 driver development ARCA menards-series race car that was equipped with a dominating Ilmor 396 engine.
The newly renovated Leo Kaytes Ford is a must see. The design is reminiscent of 1978, the year they opened for business, while staying true to the infrastructure that brings Warwick pride. The new drive through service garage is a classic. Leo Kaytes, Jr. added a few personal touches, restoring his father’s original desk with all of its original belongings, including a rotary telephone that Leo Kaytes, Sr. noticed immediately. On the wall behind the desk hangs a photo of Leo Kaytes, Sr. and Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company.
Both Leo and his wife of 64 years, Gladys, exhibited a true sense of appreciation and pride. The happiness in their eyes could be seen and the love in their hearts could be felt. They enjoyed watching their growing family of grandchildren and now great-grandchildren who were on hand for the occasion.
Dr. Richard Hull, the Town of Warwick Historian, complimented the Kaytes family saying, “The new renovation keeps the memory of Warwick alive.”
Leo Kaytes, Sr. special thanks to his entire family and to his son saying, “My son, Leo, has done a great job putting this all together. This was his vision. I think he saw this before the architect even put a pencil to it. I’m proud of my entire family. To have people come in third generation and say, ‘I think my grandfather bought a car from you,’ kind of makes you feel good. I like to come in and chat with customers, some that I’ve known for years. Forty years went by pretty quickly. Things have changed but I thank God we’re here to grow,” said Kaytes.
For more information on the Leo Kaytes Ford Dealership call 986-1131, visit www.leokaytesford.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leokaytesford.