Sunday, 19 August 2018 18:12

Wheels for Hope car show raises money for local hospitals Featured

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BREWER - More than ninety cars rolled into Eastern Maine Healthcare System's parking lot in Brewer for the second annual Wheels for Hope event.


Money raised at Sunday's event went to cancer care programs at Eastern Maine Medical Center and to Acadia Hospital, which helps those living with mental illnesses.


Sheree Tillson, who co-founded Wheels for Hope said the day was to "come out, have fun, and really get together and all heading to the same direction, which is really, helping others."


Drivers of the pickup trucks, classic cars, and hot rods all made a donation to register for the event. A 50/50 raffle and silent auction also helped raise money for both causes.


Rick Tillson, the event's other co-founder, said he was thankful for the generosity of people in central Maine.


The Tillsons got the idea for the charity car show, in part, because one of their family members needed help paying for cancer treatment.


Those who work at the hospitals the fundraiser is helping said they're grateful.


Nichole Trainor, the philanthropy officer at Acadia Hospital, said the donations from Sunday's show "gives us the opportunity to do things, create programs, like we have a musical and wellness program, we have a yoga program."


Emergency responders came out to show off their vehicles. And our newsroom's own JR Mitchell was there to DJ the event.


But the real reason for the car show wasn't lost on those there, especially one family who has used both hospitals.


"Both hospitals have become a part of our family," said Crystal Richard, a cancer survivor. "Without them, my husband wouldn't be here today, same for me." Her husband goes to Acadia Hospital for treatment for severe PTSD.


Richard said it was her son's idea to enter the car show and raise money to support the hospitals that have supported his parents.


Last year, the car show raised $6,000, along with some matching funds for cancer research.

Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...