East Coast Car Association – Toys for Tots
Community Involvement: Since 2008, Mike Bilski has worked with the , a club dedicated to helping the children of St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital. He is also involved in numerous other organizations, including the Middle Village Veterans Day Parade Committee, the Edward R. Miller VFW Post 7336 and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 in Glendale.
Personal: Born and raised in Ridgewood, Bilski moved to Glendale 25 years ago. He tragically lost his oldest son, Michael, three years ago when he was 22 years old. He is the proud father of four children – Tiffany, 25, Joseph, 24, Brittany, 22, and Dylan, 15. Dylan, a varsity basketball player, often volunteers with him. His daughter Brittany will be singing the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Queens Veterans Parade for the second time this year.
Biggest Challenge: “Convincing people that everything we do is for the children at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Also, trying to find more volunteers to help us at Cruise Nights and car shows – you don’t have to have a classic or souped-up car to help out.”
Favorite Memory: “I am a car guy and when I took my Falcon to the first car show my son Dylan was very young. We won a second place trophy. Dylan was so happy, he put it on his dresser. Seeing his face – words cannot express that feeling. Also, seeing the faces of the children at St. Mary’s after the toy run. I wish I was rich, I would give a million dollars a year to St. Mary’s.”
Inspiration: “My mom. Her whole life she took care of everyone, whether it was family, friends or a stranger who needed a hand. Three years ago, I lost my oldest son and it just made me double my efforts with volunteering to help others. I know everything I do for others on Earth will give a good after-life in Heaven.”