From Sea Of Classic Cars, Hope For Children At St. Mary’s

From Sea Of Classic Cars, Hope For Children At St. Mary’s

Members of the East Coast Car Association gather in the parking lot of the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank for the organization's 15th annual car show on Sunday. Photo Courtesy of The East Coast Car Association

Members of the East Coast Car Association gather in the parking lot of the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank for the organization’s 15th annual car show on Sunday. Photo Courtesy of The East Coast Car Association

The parking lot of the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank was a sea of shining chrome Sunday, when residents from throughout Queens – and beyond – gathered to show off their classic cars to raise money for St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in Bayside.

Joseph Maldonado, of Ozone Park, traveled to the Mecum auction in Kansas City last year to purchase his red, two-door 1964 Chevrolet Impala - which he said he has wanted for as long as he can remember

Joseph Maldonado, of Ozone Park, traveled to the Mecum auction in Kansas City last year to purchase his red, two-door 1964 Chevrolet Impala – which he said he has wanted for as long as he can remember

Car aficionados brought some of their most prized possessions – from a red 1964 Chevy Impala to a black 1979 Buick Riviera – to the 15th Annual Summer Slam Car Show and Blood Drive, which was sponsored by the East Coast Car Association, Toys for Tots, Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, Knights of Columbus, and New York Hospital Queens. More than 40 vehicles were on display, and those who attended also donated about 25 pints of blood as part of the event’s blood drive.

“The founder of East Coast Cars was Ed Walter – he passed away in February 2007, and we as a club continued his legacy to fulfill a commitment to St. Mary’s,” said Harold Mecabe, a board member of the ECCA. “He had sick children, and St. Mary’s was able to help them. He made a statement to God that he’d do everything possible for St. Mary’s.

The ECCA has donated more than $100,000 since they began holding fundraisers for St. Mary’s in 1999 – $25,000 of which was used for a patient room that was unveiled in St. Mary’s new addition that opened last September.

Nicole, left, Alexandra Marie, and Richard Kunik, all of Maspeth, showed off Richard's 1965 Chevy Impala at the Maspeth show. Richard named the car after his 2-year-old daughter, Alexandra Marie.

Nicole, left, Alexandra Marie, and Richard Kunik, all of Maspeth, showed off Richard’s 1965 Chevy Impala at the Maspeth show. Richard named the car after his 2-year-old daughter, Alexandra Marie.

Sunday’s event was one of a series of fundraisers the group has held – and plans to sponsor – this year, and on Nov. 17 the group will hold its annual toy run. As part of the run, for which individuals donate toys and money for the children’s hospital, the ECCA travels from Forest Park in Woodhaven to St. Mary’s to present a check with all of the funds they have collected over the past year.

The ECCA will also hold car shows on the first Monday of each month, from Aug. 5 to Nov. 4, at Atlas Park in Glendale. The shows, which run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., will include live music by the Joe Fuoco Music Center, trophies and raffles.

Every Tuesday night, the ECCA hosts car shows at the Resorts World Casino/Aqueduct Racetrack at the Rockaway Boulevard entrance at 109th Street. The shows run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The association will hold its 15th annual fall festival car show on Sunday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Forest Park bandshell parking lot.

For more information, visit www.eccatoysfortots.org.

Story and Photos by Anna Gustafson 

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