Cars for Kids

Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work Car Show re­turns with new lo­ca­tion

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Har­low

Chuck Mahla has worked at the Rite Aid on Back River Neck Road for more than seven years. Each year, the store would hold a fundraiser, such as a raf­fle or a car wash, to ben­e­fit the Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work (CMN). But when store manger Sue Ray, who was like a sec­ond mother to Mahla, passed away dur­ing the sum­mer of 2014, he knew he “wanted to do some­thing big­ger and bet­ter for CMN in her honor.”

And so the fol­low­ing spring, the CMN Car Show was born. He started off by plan­ning a show at the store’s park­ing lot, which holds about 50 cars. In­ter­est grew, and it turned out 150 en­thu­si­asts wanted to en­ter their cars. So Mahla, a grad­u­ate of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, turned to the school and they agreed to let him use their park­ing lot. That first car show, which was held in 2015 and or­ga­nized in just 17 days raised $2,400 for CMN. Last year, Mahla, who is also a full­time stu­dent at Tow­son Univer­sity, en­listed his friend and fel­low Mt. Carmel grad­u­ate Vince Schi­avone to co-host, and the event fea­tured 225 cars and raised $5,005.

Now in its third year, the show will be held on Sun­day, April 23 from noon to 4 pm at its new lo­ca­tion at Lock­heed Martin. Mahla is not only do­ing this to honor Ray, but also Donna Collins, his Rite Aid as­sis­tant man­ager who just passed away in Jan­uary.

“Even if you are not a car per­son, you will be im­pressed by some of the ve­hi­cles that will be at the show,” said Mahla. He ex­pects at least 10 ex­otic cars like Lam­borgh­i­nis and Fer­raris, and even a

mil­i­tary tank owned by a friend. “It’s re­ally neat that we can bring these cars to Es­sex/Mid­dle River.”

The en­try fee is $20 per ve­hi­cle, and spec­ta­tors are free. Cars will com­pete in cat­e­gories such as Im­port, Do­mes­tic, Ex­otic, and Truck and Bike. In ad­di­tion to the cars on dis­play, there will be raf­fles and a silent auc­tion through­out the day, along with ¼ lb hot dogs and pit beef, ham and turkey by McKin­ney’s Cater­ing, with all sales ben­e­fit­ting CMN.

“The car show has re­ally gained some at­ten­tion over the last cou­ple of years, so we needed to get an even larger venue. Lock­heed Martin of­fered its park­ing lot to us at no cost. The lot can hold 700 cars,” said Mahla, who hopes for a 15 per­cent in­crease in par­tic­i­pants this year. “We are go­ing to make it to $10,000 this year.”

Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work Hospi­tals raises funds and aware­ness for 170 mem­ber hospi­tals that pro­vide 32 mil­lion treat­ments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Do­na­tions stay lo­cal to fund crit­i­cal treat­ments and health­care ser­vices, pe­di­atric med­i­cal equip­ment and char­i­ta­ble care. All pro­ceeds from the car show will go to Johns Hop­kins Chil­dren’s Cen­ter, which is the clos­est Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work hospi­tal.

Johns Hop­kins Chil­dren’s Cen­ter has 205 pa­tient beds, and the av­er­age length of stay for each pa­tient is 6.3 days. Hop­kins is one of only two hospi­tals in Mary­land to of­fer pe­di­atric ECMO (a heart and by­pass ma­chine used for cir­cu­la­tion and oxy­gena­tion in crit­i­cally ill chil­dren). Last year, Johns Hop­kins Chil­dren’s Cen­ter had more than 100,000 pa­tient vis­its; ad­mit­ted 600 ba­bies to the NICU; and used over 5,000 pints of blood.

For ev­ery very $1,000 do­nated, Hop­kins can pur­chase:

• 1,600 mi­cro-pre­emie di­a­pers for ba­bies who weigh less than 2lbs;

• 65 meal tick­ets for fam­i­lies who can’t af­ford to eat in the cafe while they are stay­ing with their child;

• 900 spe­cial­ized paci­fiers for NICU pa­tients;

• 195 toi­letry kits for par­ents need­ing to stay at the hospi­tal un­ex­pect­edly; and

• 1,050 paint brushes for chil­dren to cre­ate art to help deal with sup­pressed emo­tions so the art ther­a­pist can help the child heal. Other items they pur­chase with do­nated money in­clude monthly supplies of test strips; asthma in­haler spac­ers; Uno cards; mark­ers; build­ing blocks; and Mr. Potato Head toys.

A pa­tient of Johns Hop­kins Chil­dren’s Cen­ter, Brid­get, along with her fam­ily, will be on hand to speak to the crowd and tell them what the Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work has done to help them. She will also present a tro­phy named Brid­get’s Choice to her fa­vorite car.

Mahla adds that many peo­ple don’t know that he was treated at Johns Hop­kins Chil­dren’s Cen­ter at a very young age, so he feels it is im­por­tant to give back for other pa­tients. “The rea­son I want to do this year af­ter year is that ev­ery­one knows some­one who is af­fected,” he said.

The CMN Car Show has sev­eral spon­sors, in­clud­ing Ham­mer Motorsports and McKin­ney’s Cater­ing, who as­sist in plan­ning and vol­un­teer all day cook­ing and serv­ing food for the event. Mahla and Schi­avone are still look­ing for spon­sors to help cover costs for food, por­ta­ble pot­ties, in­sur­ance ex­penses, etc. For spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties, email Mahla at free­kicks@com­cast.net.

Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work Car Show

Sun­day, April 23 from 12 pm to 4 pm (Rain Date TBD)

Lock­heed Martin, 195 Ch­e­sa­peake Park Plaza, Bal­ti­more, MD 21220

$20 ve­hi­cle en­try fee; Spec­ta­tors are FREE Gates open 10:30 am Find the car show on Face­book at https://www.face­book.com/ events/156127401566522/ or search CMN Car Show 2017.

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