So he combined his love for cars and his children’s health to form the East Coast Car Association Blood Drive, a twice-annual event that helps support the medical center.
In 2007 Walter passed away, but the club he left behind kept on with the tradition he started, and on Sunday more than 50 cars converged on the Maspeth Federal Savings parking lot, where they pitted their rides against each other for bragging rights, trophies and deep discounts on auto parts and repairs from several sponsors.
ECCA Master of Ceremonies Harold Mecabe, who has been a member of the club since 2000, said that the club was able to support St. Mary’s with 55 blood donors throughout the day, and that supporting such a good cause is a central factor in the strong turnout of both cars and donors.
And he explained that the club’s commitment to St. Mary’s goes beyond their blood drives. Each year in November, the club arrives at the medical center with toys for the kids and close to a $10,000 donation for the hospital.
“We have a pretty large following,” Mecabe said. “A lot of the guys continuously come to watch the shows because they know what we stand for and what we do. We even have cars from New Jersey and Staten Island.”
The club has regular meet ups at Resorts World Casino every Tuesday night until November 18, and at the Glendale Stop & Shop every Saturday night.