Lipinsky going for gold with Special Olympics car wash

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First Assistant EMS Chief Joseph Oginsky, Erin Lipinsky, Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Steve Shapiro at a car wash benefiting Special Olympics New York. (Photo courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)
First Assistant EMS Chief Joseph Oginsky, Erin Lipinsky, Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Steve Shapiro at a car wash benefiting Special Olympics New York. (Photo courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)

When it comes to raising money for Special Olympics New York, Great Neck resident Erin Lipinsky is once again going for gold.

Lipinsky and the Vigilant Fire Company will be hosting a charitable car wash on Sunday, Aug. 18, from noon to 4 p.m. at 83 Cutter Mill Road, with a goal of fund-raising for Special Olympics New York.

The non-profit group has opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to compete in Olympic-style coached sports. It provides year-round sports training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Lipinsky, a Special Olympics athlete with the Great Neck Spirits basketball team, said the car wash and his fund-raising efforts enabled him to give back and help the children.

“This is what I wanted to do,” Lipinsky said. “It’s a good thing to help the kids.”

Lipinsky has been the top individual fund-raiser in North Hempstead for several years, raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics through the North Hempstead Polar Plunge. He raised around $15,000 in 2019, Lipinsky said, around $14,000 in 2018 and $11,492 the year before that.

The car wash has raised more than $1,000 each year since its inception in 2016.

Mike Green, a family friend who helps with the car wash, said that Lipinsky’s fund-raising efforts and passion have been unrivaled.

Lipinsky puts in hours a week going to all the shops on Middle Neck Road and visits other municipalities, too, Green said, and is not shy about asking for help if he’s a little short of a fund-raising goal as the annual Polar Plunge approaches.

Green said that Lipinsky’s car wash benefits a “fantastic cause” that goes well beyond Great Neck.

“Its kids want nothing in return but to have a good time and play sports,” Green said. “Plus, you get your car cleaned, you become part of a community that’s helping the Special Olympics, and it really gives you a good feeling – almost like volunteering when you do it.”

As for Lipinsky, he said he hopes to continue his top fund-raiser streak and encourages as many people to come to the car wash as possible.

“I’m trying to get as many cars as I can,” Lipinsky said.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said Lipinsky raised around $12,000 in 2019. He said the amount shown online differs from the actual total.

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