All-Mustang car show brings smiles to children with disabilitiesWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine a car lot filled entirely with classic and contemporary Mustangs. That dream will become a reality for Mustang fans Sept. 20 as Brondes Ford Toledo clears its Secor Road lot for the Toledo Mustang Club’s All-Mustang car show.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Susan’s Smiles of Happiness, a restricted fund of the Sunshine Foundation that provides dental care for disabled children.
Mustang owner Kevin Murphy is coordinating the event with the help of Brondes Ford Toledo saleswoman Rose Jankowski and Susan’s Smiles of Happiness founders Tim Porter and Diane Hamilton.
Murphy said he hopes to see close to 100 Mustangs at the event. Prizes will be awarded for best in show and also for the best of each decade, he said. The show is open to the public; admission is $10. There will be food and a disc jockey.
Susan’s Smiles of Happiness was established by the Hamilton and Porter after their daughter, Susan, died Jan. 5. The organization pays for dental care for the 150 residents of the Sunshine Children’s Home for children with disabilities.
Susan had Angelman’s syndrome, a genetic defect, and moved into the Sunshine Children’s Home when she was 15.
“Susan was smiley from ear to ear in spite of her own difficulties,” Hamilton said.
“Dental care for the kids at Sunshine, over 150 of them, was superficial at best, based on the state money that comes their way,” Hamilton said. Often, children would have to wait until a dentist was willing and able to donate time and expenses.
“If a cavity costs $100, Medicaid pays $48. The dentists not only do not get paid, they lose money. They have to pay their staff and for their equipment,” she said.
To date, the fund has raised $6,000 and spent $4,000, providing dental care to 15 residents.
“Every single dollar we have collected has gone into this fund,” Hamilton said. “And it will continue to be this way.”
The children would have probably received dental care eventually, Hamilton said, but the fund ensures the results are timely.
“If you’re a handicapped kid, and they all are, they’ve got enough to contend with. Why have a sore mouth? You can’t smile when you have a sore mouth,” she said.
Hamilton and Porter’s original goal was to provide dental care for the four or five children in their daughter’s room. But that goal soon expanded to encompass all of the residents.
“We’re committed to do what we can and think of new ideas. To rely on the generosity of people we know and don’t know,” Hamilton said.
“And dentists,” Porter said.
Hamilton said they are “truly grateful for the support of Brondes Ford Toledo, Jankowski and Murphy.”
Jankowski, a neighbor of Hamilton and Porter, approached Murphy with the idea to do something to help Susan’s Smiles of Happiness. She knew of Murphy’s background in promotions for Cumulus Broadcasting. Jankowski is also responsible for getting Brondes Ford Toledo to agree to empty its lot.
“We just said, ‘Hey, let’s keep it simple,’” Murphy said. “It’s all about the cars and the charity.”
The car show begins at 11 a.m. with judging from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 2:30. For more information, visit www.toledomustangs.com.
Donations to Susan’s Smiles of Happiness can be sent to Susan’s Smiles of Happiness, c/o Sunshine Foundation, Inc, 7223 Maumee-Western Road., Maumee, 43537.