7/11/2010: Charity car wash raises nearly $7,000

Shirley L. Huntley

July 11, 2010

It was scrub-a-dub-dub in Howard Beach this past weekend, as over 100 big-hearted people rolled up their sleeves and got wet to raise thousands at New York Families for Autistic Children’s (NYFAC) fifth annual charity car wash and car show.

It was the most successful ever, raising just “a touch” under $7,000.

“People are very supportive of what we do,” said Andrew Baumann, president and CEO of NYFAC.

He explained that, in this economic climate, fundraisers are pivotal.

“When one door closes, another opens,” he said. “The people of this community [Howard Beach] are extremely generous and warm and have opened their hearts to the kids.”

“A lot of kids from the neighborhood came out to pitch in,” continued Baumann.

And though the car wash took place on Sunday, July 11 at 82-10 153rd Avenue in Howard Beach (by the Queens County Savings Bank), volunteers – nearly 130 of them --came from all over.

“Andrew is a great customer, and I support awareness,” said Cathy Placco of Queens County Savings Bank, who was there to help out.

There were even Italian sports cars from Long Island on display, as well as classic and muscle cars, as exhibited by the All American Car Club. Trophies were awarded, one in honor of Jonathan Beneduce.

“The All American Car Club is all about supporting causes,” said Bill Newton, president, who explained that all their shows benefit charities. “Today, we’re here to support NYFAC.”

The club even did a 50/50, with the winner donating back the money, $240 in total.

And Senator Shirley L. Huntley donated $500 to NYFAC, while Assemblymember Mike Miller and Senator Joseph Addabbo showed up to get their cars washed.

Lauren Coleman, 7 1/2, whose brother, Christopher, 9, is autistic, was hosing down cars – in total, 152 were washed – and having fun doing it.

So did the 106th Precinct Explorers and the School Safety Explorers.

But some big-hearted people donated, sans the suds.

Baumann said this raised $900 alone.

Since its inception in 1998, NYFAC has developed and instituted a wide variety of programs and services. NYFAC is recognized as a leader world-wide in the development of training materials for professionals working with children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Their motto and mission is simple – “Helping Parents . . . Help their Children . . . One family at a time.”

To learn more about NYFAC, or to learn how you can help, visit www.nyfac.org or call (718) 641-3441.