Policaro Auto Group hosts annual Track Day to raise money

It was a gathering for giving, gratitude, and much more at the Canadian Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ont.

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Francesco Policaro was overcome with emotion as he addressed a crowd of more than 300 when he spoke about his auto group’s connection to the SickKids Hospital and Foundation.

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He and his wife Natasha tragically lost a baby in 2017 due to a fetal cardiac diagnosis. The couple received care at SickKids during the tragedy and formed a connection with the hospital that has grown into something incredible.

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“(As you know), I lost a child to hypoplastic left heart syndrome. We were devastated and didn’t think we had another chance, but we were blessed to have (another) little guy,” the president and CEO of Policaro Auto Group told the crowd.

In 2020, the couple had another child, Noah. However, they never forgot about their first experience and the baby that tragically passed away.

Policaro Group Track Day and history of charitable endeavours

Through events and fundraisers, including its annual Heart Month and Track Day at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, which took place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Policaro Group has supported hundreds of children in care suffering from fetal cardiac diseases across southern Ontario.

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The track day event offers an annual opportunity for eventgoers, corporate sponsors, and families to enjoy a fully catered breakfast and trackside lunch. The event Wednesday also featured a silent auction, a four-person trip to a prominent golf course, a vehicle photoshoot and canvas package, and an Italian dining experience for two.

Participants also rode in several luxury cars with drivers, including a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, the ultra-rare Porsche 918 Spyder, several BMWs, Lamborghinis, and more.

“I love this day, and I love this event. We’re excited for it to continue, and I think it’s been fabulous. We’re so blessed to have SickKids in our backyard and know we can help other people and children. We’ve used SickKids for many different reasons, so I think it does wonders to see where the money is going as well as all the families that it’s helping,” Adriana Policaro, human business partner at the Policaro Group, told Driving.ca.

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It was quite the day for the Policaro Group, an exclusive luxury automotive retailer based in Brampton, Ontario. In business since 1979, the Policaro Group started with a dealership in the Toronto area — Satellite City Honda — and four years later added a Hyundai dealership in nearby Brampton, which drew attention initially by offering a free car wash with every service visit.

By 1987, the Policaro brothers — Basil, Tony, and Paul — opened the first Acura dealerships in Canada. Over the next four decades, the company grew into a half-billion-dollar company with six dealerships across southern Ontario, according to the Financial Post. 

The latest additions are in the luxury market: Land Rover, Porsche, Jaguar, Volvo and BMW dealerships in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Etobicoke, Ontario areas. The group also owns four ancillary businesses: Policaro Performance, Policaro Motorsport, Policaro Leasing and Motion Endeavours.

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Commitment to giving fuelling hospital research at SickKids and beyond

While the Policaro Group has been at the forefront of consumer-friendly technologies that get customers into cars without ever leaving the house, they’ve also been making an imprint in the community, rallying organizations, stakeholders, and other interest groups to support SickKids hospital and other health organizations across Ontario.

The Policaro Foundation was formed in 2018 and has raised more than $400,000 for SickKids hospital and the SickKids Foundation. In partnership with SickKids, the Foundation established the Policaro Fetal Cardiac Fellowship, which welcomes international fellows to Canada’s primary fetal cardiac diagnosis and treatment centre.

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The company also runs an annual toy drive in November and every February to support Annual Heart Month, a time when everyone can focus on their cardiovascular health. These funds help support organizations such as the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, and Brampton Civic Hospital.

At the annual track day event, some notable dignitaries included the renowned section head for the Fetal Cardiac program at SickKids hospital, Dr. Edgar Jaeggi.

A practicing doctor since 1984, Jaeggi joined the clinical staff at the University Hospital of Geneva, where he directed the pediatric electrophysiology service. In September 2002, he returned to Toronto to join the division of cardiology and the translational program at SickKids. In December 2003, Jaeggi became the head of the Fetal Cardiac program, one of the world’s largest and most successful fetal cardiac programs.

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“First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for their ongoing support,” he said. You have been supporting us now for five years since 2018. I know you will continue supporting us for another five years, which is fantastic.

“Most diagnoses come before birth now. We have treatment options that can help with the management of labour and help with the treatment of patients in need. The parents benefit from this. If they are informed, they’re not surprised by the birth of a child and prefer (to know ahead of time). (I hope that the) next generation will go out into the community or society responsible for the capability to execute. It is all thanks to the support.”

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