Driven to Care For Kids
It began 4 years ago with a simple good intention when a group of car enthusiasts decided it was time to give back. The goal was equally simple; use their passion for great cars to put a smile on the face of as many sick children as possible. Carz N’ Toyz first event would be a toy run. That first year, over 800 toys were delivered to the pediatric wards of the Virtua Health System.
While toy runs are not new, Carz N’ Toyz has a very personal and powerful connection to toys. It is the reason “Toyz” is a part of their name. In 1975, Carz N’ Toyz President, Saverio “Sam” Lacroce’s son Saverio Joseph was taken by leukemia at age sixteen.
Upon arrival at the hospital, Saverio Joseph was taken in by his parents to be admitted. The bag containing his things including his favorite toy was left in the car to be retrieved once Saverio was settled in his room. When Sam returned to the car, it had been vandalized and the bag stolen. You can imagine the heartbreak of having to tell a sick child his favorite toy was stolen. And it is why Carz N’ Toyz is Driven To Care For Kids.
The Mission Expands
In the beginning the mission was to deliver toys to the sick children at Virtua. Soon after, more pressing needs were fulfilled, including equipment for Activity and Meeting rooms, DVD players, infant cars seats, medical memories scrapbooks, craft supplies, motorized wheel chairs and a wide assortment of books for all ages. Recently Carz N’ Toyz presented a $10,000 check to Virtua to purchase kid friendly art for their pediatric wards.
This expansion has been facilitated through the addition of several new events and sponsors. While the original happy hour meet and greets at Aldo Lamberti’s and the toy run remain important events, they’ve added an annual Charity Dinner and Auction, and an Annual 5K and1 mile fun walk. More events are being planned including a car show and a raffle of an exotic automobile.
Thanks to a growing list of corporate sponsors, more worthy institutions are benefiting from Carz N’ Toyz efforts including Weisman Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital and the Osborn facility at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
Support for Concussion Management
Concussion management is front and center at every level of athletic endeavor. In South Jersey, Virtua is a leader in concussion management. Their ImPact program is totally comprehensive featuring pre-injury testing that provides a baseline for post injury diagnosis. Pre-testing is not covered by insurance, so Carz N’ Toyz presented Virtua with a $10,000 check to cover 600 tests for local, young athletes.
All Contributions Go to the Kids
According to board president, Saverio Lacroce, “It’s important that people know how and where their donations are disbursed. No member of the Carz N’ Toyz board is compensated in any way. With the exception of expenses associated with a given event and maintenance of the business, all proceeds are donated to worthy institutions that care for sick children.”