Cars for Kids
Children’s Miracle Network Car Show returns with new location
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.