Members of the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club members Nov. 30 met at the Austintown Senior Center to disperse the proceeds of its cruises and fundraisers for 2016.
A check for $6,142.21 was given to representatives of Hospice of the Valley.
"Originally we started out by helping members of our car club when they needed it," MVOCC President Elmer Lydic said. "It got to be too much, so we changed our focus to helping kids."
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club members Nov. 30 met at the Austintown Senior Center to present Hospice of the Valley a $6,142.21 check, which represented the proceeds from the club’s car cruises and fundraisers held throughout the summer. Pictured next to the classic 1940 Packard 120 are cruise chairman Rich Posivak, Jan Seidler and Liz McGarry of Hospice, Dee and Jim Tripp, and club president Elmer Lydic.
He said the Hospice of the Valley came into play when the car club decided to help in the construction of the Sharrott Road facility in Boardman. The members decided to support Hospice by pledging $50,000 for naming rights of one of the rooms.
"The club made the $50,000 pledge for Hospice," Lydic said. "Next year, we should reach that pledge amount."
With this year's check, the car club has reached $46,799.33. While the pledged amount is getting close, Hospice leaders have already placed the plaque for MVOCC above the room door.
"The plaque is up," Hospice Director of Development Liz McGarry said. "We believe in this group, and they believe in us."
McGarry said the Sharrott Road facility has 16 rooms and teams that visit nursing homes and private homes. She estimates 300 people each day are served by Hospice of the Valley, which has been around for 40 years. Regarding the MVOCC donations, McGarry said it will be put to good use.
"The money is used to provide for medications and equipment for the many patients who are on Medicare," she said. "We don't turn anyone away."
Besides Hospice, the MVOCC also raised $10,000 that went to help children who have significant medical needs. Four were helped this year, which included this year's benefit recipient, Brooklyn Hostetter.
The six-year-old was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect in which the heart is underdeveloped. She has undergone three surgeries because the left side of her heart was not working. Stemming from the surgeries, Hostetter developed an enlarged liver and has went through eye surgery, possibly stemming from the liver situation, according to cruise chairman Rich Posivak.
With the amount given to the children and to Hospice since 2004, the MVOCC has donated a total of $118,386.92.