Special Olympic athlete Erin Lipinsky raised more than $1,200 at his car wash fundraiser for Special Olympics New York, topping last year, with the support of Vigilant Engine Hook & Ladder Company at Vigilant’s firehouse on Sunday, Aug. 12.
“This was the third year that Erin asked the Vigilants to help with his car wash fundraiser,” said Josh Charry, Vigilant fire chief. “We have been happy to help him every year, as we know this is very important to him and we want his efforts to succeed—and succeed he has. Erin has raised at least $1,200 each year of the car wash.”
Lipinsky has been the number one individual fundraiser for the Town of North Hempstead Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics New York for the past several years. The annual car wash is the kick off event for Lipinsky’s fundraising for the March 2019 plunge, which will help support 7,000 Special Olympics New York–Long Island athletes.
“He has taken to this task with a passion,” said Charry. “Special Olympics holds a very special place in Erin’s heart and he is committed to helping their efforts in any way that he can, now that he no longer actively competes.”
For the plunge that was held in March 2018, Lipinsky raised the impressive sum of more than $14,000, and has been described as the “mayor of Great Neck,” who walks up and down Middle Neck Road, asking businesses and neighbors to support a cause that’s dear to him.
“Amazingly, Erin does a very large part of the promotional work himself—putting posters up in town and telling everyone he meets about it,” said Charry. “We have helped Erin get the word out beyond Great Neck, hanging posters in the greater area and using social media to help spread the word even farther.”
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth presented Lipinksy with a citation to
recognize his outstanding efforts in bringing awareness to the Special Olympics New York and for his fundraising efforts.
“We look forward to helping Erin with this very worthwhile cause again next year, as well,” noted Charry.
“I don’t do it for awards. I do it for the kids,” said the enthusiastic, devoted and modest Lipinsky, who was grateful for the community support. “I thank my family, my coach Rebecca Strickland [associate director of development for Special Olympics New York–Long Island Region], the Alert Fire Company, especially [Chairman of the Board] Mike Green, and the Vigilants, with special help from Joe [First Assistant EMS Chief Joseph Oginski], for
everything they’ve done the last three years. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”