Classic and Custom Cars provide a hand-up for local kids through
Sick Kids and Big Brothers Big Sisters
As the summer drew to a close, members of the Highway 11 Cruisers Car Club were hard at work polishing their hot rods for northern York Region’s largest classic car show, which took over the East Gwillimbury GO Station on September 20.
With Hallowe’en in mind, the Cruisers liberally peppered their field of classic cars with vintage hearses, some still being “driven” by their chauffeurs who now have considerably less meat on their bones – but it was all in good fun as the car enthusiasts got into gear supporting the SickKids Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of York.
Support from the Highway 11 Cruisers was particularly welcome for Big Brothers Big Sisters of York (BBBSY) as the classic car club stepped up to help fill a significant funding gap within the organization.
For the past three years, BBBSY has been a beneficiary of New Roads’ Car Classic. Recent construction at their automotive centre, however, meant their traditional fundraiser had to be put on ice for a year.
But, New Roads worked with them to form a new partnership with the Cruisers just in time for their year-end show.
“[New Roads CAO] Michael Croxon was very good to say we’ll figure something else out,” says Sarah Dame, executive director of BBBSY. “When [the Cruisers] said they were going to figure out a way to include Big Brothers, we were thrilled.”
Ms. Dame, along with her team, were there on September 20 to celebrate this new partnership. In addition to taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the mentorship programs and services BBBSY offers to the community, it was also a chance to get word out on their upcoming gala, “A Classic Night Out”, which is set to honour Mr. Croxon and his father, Noel, for their enduring support of the organization.
A Classic Night Out will take place November 14 at Markham’s LeParc Banquet Hall.
“Noel Croxon was integral to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada for quite some time,” Ms. Dame explains. “As Michael picked up our agency as one of his community partners with the Classic Car Show and some of the other things we have done together, it has been nice to see the transition from one generation to the next. That is really appealing when agencies are struggling to find sustainable dollars. It is a very generous legacy for one generation to pass on to the next and we have been blessed that Michael has continued to support us.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada receives significant grant funding each year from Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Local organizations like BBBSY, in turn, apply to their parent organization for their share of the pie, but this year the York Region arm has faced several challenges.
Most recently, the closure of Aurora’s Gateway Café and Lanes has left them without a local home for their annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser, forcing them to look at a complete revamp of their cornerstone event.
To help make up for any shortfall, this year’s gala will also include a Sip and Savour Raffle. Each $20 ticket – and only 1,250 will be sold – could nab you a first prize of 10 gift cards to York Region restaurants each valued at $100, a 32btl wine cooler cellar, and $250-worth of assorted wines, as well as similar second and third prizes. The draw will take place at A Classic Night Out.
“We really cannot survive without community partners like the Croxon family,” says Ms. Dame. “Some businesses stand out above and beyond because of their community involvement, engagement and support. Some do it quietly, others do it publicly, and we are fortunate to be one of a number of partners New Roads Group helps. Every time I talk to them, they are involved in something else. We’d like to be their only charity, but we recognize that’s not how it goes!
“The wonderful thing about events like our gala is these are undesignated funds in that they help us in our program areas where we don’t have full funding. I hope [from this event] people take away the importance of mentoring. Although you might not see mentoring as an essential service, it actually is, and the social return on this investment is incredibly huge.”
Written by Brock Weir