The family of a Niagara Falls man who was a patient at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is giving back in a big way by holding a benefit car show to raise money for the hospital's new cardiac and stroke care unit.
The Robert O. Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show will take place July 16 on the grounds of Hoover's Dairy, 6035 Ward Road in Sanborn. An estimated 200 vintage automobiles are expected to be on display at the event.
"The idea came to me after my dad had passed," said event organizer William Steinjan. "He was always into classic cars, NASCAR, drag cars, anything motorized, really. So when I pitched the idea to my family they were more than happy to hop on and help me."
Steinjan said his dad, who died in July 2015 at the age of 76, had chronic heart disease and was treated at Memorial after suffering both a stroke and a heart attack.
"They did what they could for him to extend his time with us for as long as he could be here. He was in and out of the hospital four times in the months before his passing. And each time the staff there took great care of him," Steinjan said. "So if we as a family can do something to give back to the people who helped us out in our last times with him and do something in his name, why not?"
His dad was a "no frills kind of guy" who never liked to be the center of attention, Steinjan said.
"I'm sure he is looking down at us and saying the idea is a great one, but the use of his name is unnecessary. But, for one day in his honor, we will make his name the center of attention for a great cause," Steinjan said. "If things kick off and turn out to be great, we might run with this for a few more years."
"It means a lot to us when patients and their family members express their appreciation for the care we've given them," said Judi Nolan Powell, Memorial's vice president for foundation and community relations. "The Steinjan family has taken their expression of gratitude to a whole new level. Their generosity of spirit in putting together this wonderful event will benefit Memorial's heart and stroke patients in a very meaningful way. I'm sure their dad would be very proud of them."
Car registration for Robert Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the day of the event. The event itself will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In addition to classic cars on display, the show will feature sponsors' plaques, stock cars from Ransomville Speedway, face painting for kids by a local Girl Scout troop, music, food, a basket raffle, 50/50 drawing, and animals from the Wild Kritters of Niagara County sanctuary.
Head Nurse Janet Kundl and other staff members from Memorial's heart and stroke care unit have been hard at work creating baskets to raffle off and will volunteer their services for the event.