The East Coast Car Club held their 15th annual Toys for Tots Run starting at Forest Park on Sunday where 125 cars and dozens of bikers lined up to form a cavalcade of charity. Each year the procession of cars and bikes bearing gifts makes its way to St. Mary’s Healthcare System in Bayside.
The organization began the runs back in 1999 when former president Ed Walters started it as a way to give back some of the help he had been given while raising his two daughters, Melissa and Terryann, who suffered from Lupus.
Lou Buglione, now Vice President of the club explained how things really got kicked into gear. “Ed started things up in 1999. Eventually, we saw how much he was doing on his own and started to give him a hand.”
“We all stepped in when we saw how much Ed was doing on his own,” Widdows said. “It was just too much for one guy to handle. “
In 2007 when Ed Passed away, Widdows assumed the role of the presidency and along with the rest of the executive board and the active membership, they keep Ed’s dream alive.
The yearly drive doesn’t provide toys exclusively. This year, the organization presented checks and cash totaling over $10,000.
Throughout the year the group hosts Crusie Nights, on Tuesdays and Saturdays as well as car shows and the toy run, all to benefit St. Mary’s. The group helps out and participates in local efforts in Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Forest Hills, OzonePark, Howard beach and surrounding communities.
They are a 501C3 Not for Profit 100% Volunteer Organization.
To learn how you can get involved and become a volunteer, contact Lou Buglione at 917-682-5362 or e-mail at Louss68@yahoo.com
For more information about upcoming events, check the Events Schedule at www.eccatoysfortots.org/
By Patricia Adams