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Bay Ridge Toyota donates power wheelchair to Gerritsen Beach man

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Bay Ridge Toyota gave a Gerritsen Beach man a new job and a new set of wheels — wheelchair wheels!

Thugs hijacked a motorized chair belonging to Michael Daly on March 30 from outside St. James Lutheran Church on the corner of Gerritsen and Gotham avenues as Daly attended services inside.

Daly suffers from cerebral palsy, which prevents him from moving about the neighborhood without electric assistance.

When the folks at Bay Ridge Toyota on Sixth Avenue between 64th and 65th streets learned about what had happened to Daly, they jumped at the chance to help him out, general manager Michael Ianelli said, adding that the dealership’s owner, John Giuffre, encourages a spirit of generosity amongst his staff.

“We sell a lot of cars and make money, and it’s not a shame that we give a lot of it back to our neighbors,” said Ianelli.

On April 27, the Bay Ridge Toyota presented Daly with a $15,000 custom-made Storm Series Arrow power wheelchair.

Needless to say, Daly was overwhelmed with gratitude.

“They’re unbelievable people,” Daly said. “I could never dream of having a wheelchair so nice.”

But the giving didn’t stop there: Bay Ridge Toyota’s public relations manager Joseph Ciaccio also offered Daly a job, the overjoyed new employee said.

“We were talking, and I told Mr. Ciaccio that I had some sales experience, and he asked ‘are you working right now?’ and I told him ‘no,’ and he said, ‘I’ve got a job for you,’” said Daly, who started working in the dealership’s telemarketing office yesterday. “This seems like a great company and a great career, and I think I’m going to have great success here.”

Ianelli said that the business was immediately impressed with Daly’s spirit.

“He’s a great kid, and I think he’s going to do a great job here,” Ianelli said. “He has an attitude that would put us all to shame.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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