Joe Di Carlo has owned his black 1980 Corvette since just before he graduated from high school in 1985.
Now, some 34 years later, he’s decided to donate his pride and joy to a local youth counseling and mental health support agency called Maryvale in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Di Carlo is hoping that raffling the car will raise enough money for Maryvale to hire a mental health therapist for a year, allowing 80 more young people to be treated who might not otherwise get help.
“If I had that money, what would I do?” Di Carlo ponders. “Fix the basement, go on a trip, and then it’s gone. This way, I know this is going to help somebody. I won’t know who it helps , but this money will be used for somebody who goes there and they might say: ‘(Maryvale’s) saved me,’ and they may pay it forward some day, as well.”
Connie Martin, executive director of Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services, is grateful for the donation, saying: “Honestly, without exaggeration, when you are running an agency like ours that is continually in need of money, this is truly a once in a lifetime thing for us. When he came to us, I just said: ‘We can’t begin to thank you enough. It’s a gorgeous car.'”
The car has been babied by its long-time owner since 1985, and while he’s considered parting with it before, he could never go through with the sale.
“I’ve been thinking of selling it before, but could never pull the trigger,” he says. “People would come to look at it and I’d change my mind and tell them I’m not selling it anymore. I just couldn’t part with it.”
This time was different, though.
“I’ve been fortunate in my life all this time, so I thought, why not do something nice and donate the car?” says Di Carlo, co-owner of Dominion Collision.
He realizes now how important Maryvale has been and remains to the community. As a youngster growing up near the agency, he says he didn’t really acknowledge what it does on a daily basis. “Today we understand what they do (mental health treatment) is such an important issue. They are treating things there is no medicine for.”
The raffle for the C3 Corvette is expected to begin in a couple of weeks, with tickets likely going for $20 each or $50 for three. Martin says she will be visiting fairs and showing off the car over the summer and “hopefully (will) sell a lot of tickets.”
The winner will be drawn in November. If you’d like more information or are interested in buying tickets in a couple of weeks, call 519-258-0549, extension 2136.
As Martin says: “Whatever we can raise will be so helpful.”
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