Fundraising with Ferraris at George Press

Does your dad want a Ferrari for Father’s Day? He probably wouldn’t turn one down, but a sports car is a little beyond most Father’s Day gift budgets. For $20, however, you might be able to get your dad a ride in a Ferrari: all it takes is a donation to Fundraising with Ferraris at George Press Jewelers in Livingston, an event on June 9, 12 noon-2pm, to raise money for the 2012 Parkinson’s Unity Walk.

The store, located at 74 South Livingston Avenue, will be showcasing four cars from the collection of Baristaville Ferrari enthusiast Richard Stein: a Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari 599 GTO, Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M, and a Ferrari Spider. The cars are free to check out, and anyone who makes at least a $20 donation to the Parkinson’s Disease charity will be entered to win a 2-hour ‘Ride and Drive’ in one of Stein’s Ferraris. (Entries will be accepted through June 16, and the drawing will be held on Father’s Day.)

Stein, a resident of Pine Brook for more than 30 years, is a tax attorney who has, over the last several years, rotated 16 Ferraris through his collection, with his current “stable” of cars being the 4 on display at George Press. “I love the brand, I love the looks, I love the power, I love the handling, I love the ambiance,” says Stein of the Italian roadsters.

His drive for Ferraris was sparked when he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s six years ago. Though his symptoms have generally been mild, Stein says that the disease has both presented challenges and changed his outlook for the better. “Prior to being diagnosed, I would only see the weeds, now I see the flowers,” he says. “I try to live to enjoy the things around me and have a positive attitude.”

Thus the sports cars. Stein says that collecting and sharing his Ferraris are part of living out a dream he’s had since his childhood in Irvington. “I used to go to an ice cream parlor in South Orange called Grunnings on the Top,” he recalls. “I would go up on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon and look at all of the Corvettes, Jags, and other exotic cars that the ‘rich kids’ brought to show off. I was a ‘poor kid’ from Irvington who wanted to see these cars up close. The owners of these cars did not give me the time of day. I made a promise to myself that when I had the money to acquire these cars I would share the experience.”

Stein has kept that promise. “I have made it a point to make my cars available not only in charity events, but also to almost anyone that approaches me. When a young child expresses an interest in my car it reminds me of myself many, many years ago, and I make the time to show my car,” he says, adding with a laugh: “I consider myself a showoff who shares.”

The winner of the drawing at George Press will get an extended ride in one of Stein’s Ferraris, and maybe get behind the wheel. And according to Stein, everyone involved wins: not only is there the money raised for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, but he says, “I think I get as much enjoyment out of watching a person’s face light up when I let them sit in my car and/or start the engine and/or take them for a ride.”

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  2. I wouldn’t buy one of these cars even if I was a billionaire. They scare the c*ap out of me!

  3. This is a creative way to raise money for a good cause. I hope the effort is successful, and research is able to conquer this terrible disease.

  4. Mellon. I would assume that you have heard of McLaren Racing Team. and / or McLaren Automotive. Now I do NOT own a McLaren automobile, but I do own a Mercury Capri (Sister car to a Ford Mustang) with a McLaren engine in it, should you need a laxitive 🙂

  5. A long time ago my brother-in-law and I owned a Maserati that was a barely-legal street car, but mostly a race car. It looked good and — when it ran — it was molto rapido. Key there is “when it ran.” In the four years we had it, it probably was down for at least three of them, usually waiting for parts to ship (via gondola) from Italy. We also turned down buying a Ferarri Testarossa back in the late 60’s. That only would have made us rich. Oh, well…

  6. The Parkinson’s Unity Walk is a great event, a 1.4 mile walk held every April in Central Park. It’s an expression of common purpose in which Parkinson’s research and advocacy organizations, along with Parkinson’s patients and their families and friends, gather together to raise public awareness of the disease, to chart the progress of research efforts to combat the disease, and to raise money and spirits. 100% of the donations go to research.

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