Local auto club donates over 2000 toys to patients at Children’s National Hospital


POTOMAC, Md. (WDVM) — Car enthusiasts in the D.M.V area are spreading Christmas cheer not by singing loudly for all to hear, but with the hums and the roar of their engines. Patients at Children’s National Hospital got an early Christmas delivery, but it wasn’t from the big man with the bag… But rather a fleet of luxury and sports cars decked out for the holidays.

Over 200 cars of all make and models rolled up to Westfield Montgomery Mall for the 4th annual Cars for Children’s Charity Cruise and Toy Drive to spread some holiday cheer for kids who are spending the holidays in the hospital. Chris Camacho and Anirudh Jonnalagadda are the founders of the Capital Auto Club who wanted to do more with their weekly meetups with local car enthusiasts in the area.

“It means a lot because it’s better than [the cars] just sitting in the garage and I grew up I admired these cars myself,” Camacho explained. “So the fact that the kids can see them and they can possibly sit in them, this is all about the kids today.”

Drivers were encouraged to decorate their vehicles but required to bring a toy with a value of at least $20. Gerardo Castellanos decorated his Mustang Shelby with antlers and a red nose and wore a hat with similar decorations to match his car.

“It’s a good opportunity and good excuse to do something for the kids and to have the opportunity to ride with fellow car enthusiasts and go to the D.C. Children’s hospital, it will be a great cause,” Castellanos explained.

The gift drive holds a very special place in the heart of a local car enthusiast and former patient of Children’s National Pediatric Oncology Center. Franky Cadenas recalls people bringing things like pizza and gifts for him and other patients during this treatment at Children’s National.

“So when I received those kinds of things like I was very grateful especially when I was like in the hospital sick,” Cadenas said. “So me doing this is like on the opposite side now.”

Over 2000 toys will be donated directly to the hospital and patients were also be treated to a drive-by by the fleet of luxury cars for now.

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