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Michael Magro Foundation and VIP Auto Group Partner to Help Kids with Cancer

Michael Magro Foundation is thrilled to announce its recent partnership with VIP Automotive Group to provide moments of joy for children on Long Island battling cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. The two organizations have joined forces to provide backpacks [filled with supplies] and string bags [filled with toys and activities] for children undergoing treatment or procedures at area hospitals.

Members of the VIP Automotive Group team after packing more than 1,000 distraction bags and backpacks for LI children battling cancer and other illnesses. The bags are part of VIP’s support of the Michael Magro Foundation.

Among the programs undertaken by Michael Magro Foundation is the commitment to provide ‘distraction bags’ for children coming into NYU Langone – Long Island for procedures or treatments throughout the year. These bags – filled with activities, small toys, and other treats to keep small hands and nervous minds occupied when coming to the hospital, are a great way to keep children distracted when preparing for their procedure or treatment and keep them occupied after they are done and are awaiting their discharge authorization. “Over the course of a year, we are sending more than 600 of these bags to NYU Langone – Long Island.” noted Terrie Magro, co-Founder and Vice President of Michael Magro Foundation. “They are a wonderful tool for the nurses and parents to make the process go smoothly. The cost and manpower for purchasing and assembling that many bags is significant. That’s why this support from VIP Automotive Group is so important”

VIP Automotive Group, a local company with eight dealerships on Long Island, has a long history of charitable efforts in the region. Dan Ballasy, Director of Training Operations, pointed out that their work in the community is sewn into the corporate culture at VIP. “We have a social responsibility to the community. We live and work in this community so the people and nonprofit organizations that are here are important to us.” Ballasy continued, noting that “Ultimately, we give back to the community to take care of the community that has taken such good care of us.”

Backpacks on display after an evening of packing and stuffing on behalf of the Michael Magro Foundation. The bags will go to children battling cancer and other catastrophic illnesses on LI.

VIP Automotive Group, having learned about the work of Michael Magro Foundation, supporting families with children battling cancer and other major illnesses, made the decision to support the Foundation’s work as their first quarter charity for 2022. In addition to holding a toy and school supplies drive, the company underwrote the cost of more than 1,000 string bags and backpacks. More than 50 members of the VIP team came together one evening, following an early business closure, to laugh, enjoy dinner, and pack more than 1,000 bags for ambulatory procedures and treatments as well as this summer’s distribution of backpacks for children heading back to school.

Distraction Bags

Erin Leone, Director of VIP Automotive Group’s Human Resources department, explained that the company chooses one new charitable organization each quarter and encourages their team to participate in their hands on efforts to support the organization and to learn about the work of the nonprofit. They are proud of their team’s active participation and excitement about the community-support efforts. For this project, Leone noted, the team handwrote short notes with warm wishes and messages of positivity for the children [and their parents]. “Our team really embraced the mission of the Michael Magro Foundation. They understand that the families supported by the Foundation are our neighbors. And neighbors reach out to help one another. Our management team couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

Michael Magro Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Paul and Terrie Magro to honor the life of their son Michael, who passed away from leukemia at the age of 13. The Foundation works with the Cancer Center for Kids at NYU Langone Long Island Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Cancer Division, Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, and other regional pediatric specialty offices where treatment of chronic diseases is ongoing. Core programs offered include Life Essentials [helping families struggling financially during their child’s treatment with non-medical expenses] and Project SOAR [providing support for childhood cancer patients, families, students and teachers when the patient returns to school following long illnesses]. The organization has expanded its work to include children’s hospitals in New York City and several areas throughout Florida, as well as in California, Texas and Oregon. For more information on the Michael Magro Foundation, visit https://michaelmagrofoundation.com or email info@magrofoundation.com.