The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) and its presenting sponsor, the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, presented a record $351,500 check to the PVGP Charities. The presentation took place on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at the “Dancing with the Cars” party – the opening preview of the Pittsburgh International Auto Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The check represents the funds raised by the PVGP throughout 2018, combined with the proceeds from the GPADF’s Dancing with the Cars party that night.
The $351,500 donation brings the PVGP’s 37 year total to $5,864,000. In their sixth year as the Presenting Sponsor, the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation has contributed an astounding $652,000. Many thanks also go out to the entire team of PVGP sponsors and volunteers.
A Race Where Everybody Wins
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association’s mission is to produce a world-class vintage automotive event in order to raise funds to help provide residential care, treatment and support for autistic and intellectually/developmentally disabled individuals in the Pittsburgh region. Because of the generous support and contributions from our sponsors, and the dedication of our volunteers, we have been fortunate enough to donate more than $5 million to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Merakey Allegheny Valley School since 1983.
The Autism Society of Pittsburgh – a chapter of the Autism Society of America – addresses the needs of individuals with autism through a comprehensive array of information, advocacy and referral services, which are provided to their families and the caring professionals and service providers who work with them. This includes creating, developing and improving programs and approaches in diagnosis, treatment, education, training and social adjustment.
Autism is a neurological disorder that impairs behavior and communication; often tragically. More than 9,000 families in Southwestern Pennsylvania have children with this disability-close to 5,000 alone in Allegheny county- according to a 2011 census. That number has only increased; in 2018 the CDC indicated a national rate of 1 in 59 births are children with autism. Their families are often overwhelmed by the enormous task of discerning and providing for their complex needs.
Each year the PVGPA’s donation to Merakey Allegheny Valley School improves the lives of the people we support, enhances our programs and facilities, and brings greater awareness to hundreds of thousands of people of who we are and what we do. We are delighted that more and more of our staff, family and friends are participating in the PVGPA activities each year, and sharing with others – near and far – about this incredible event that makes a difference in the lives of so many.
Over the years, the PVGP funding has supported hundreds of projects at numerous locations, and it has made a positive impact on the lives of the people receiving our services, as well as their family members and our staff. In the past year, the funds contributed to numerous initiatives, with major projects including: renovating group homes for residents who are ambulatory or who utilize a wheelchair or other assistive device for mobility. These renovations provide increased opportunities for individuals to be more independent in their homes.