LIVINGSTON, NJ – On Friday, June 15, George Press Jewelers hosted its Fourth Annual “Fundraising with Ferrari’s”. For a donation of $20, participants entered a drawing hoping to win a prize of spending an afternoon with Ferrari collector Richard Stein of Pine Brook in his upscale garage. The winner will also have the opportunity to drive one of Mr. Stein’s Ferrari’s.
The proceeds from the event will benefit The Parkinson’s Unity Walk, a walk that participants raise money by acquiring sponsors. The money raised then goes to Parkinson’s research.
The event at George Press Jewelers took place outdoors so people passing by could look at the Ferrari’s and enter the raffle.
George Press, the owner of George Press Fine Jewelers, located at 74 South Livingston Avenue, remarked that, “Richard knew I was always a car enthusiast, and suggested we do something together. We needed a cause, and since he had contracted Parkinson’s, it was a perfect fit.”
Mr. Press said that 2013 had the best turnout to date.
“Each year, we learn something new, and use it for the following year.” said Cheryl Press, George’s wife and one of the owners of George Press Jewelers. Mrs. Press added that the event continues to grow, and estimated that between 100-150 people attend the event throughout the day each year.
“Richard (Stein) has been a customer for 25 years. That’s not a customer any longer, that’s a friend.” Mrs. Press stated.
As a teenager, Mr. Stein recalls seeing kids bring their Corvettes and Jaguars at ‘Grunnings at the Top’, a former South Orange ice cream parlor and eatery.
Mr. Stein remarked, “I always wanted to get close to those cars, but the kids wouldn’t let me. So I said someday I’m going to have a car like that myself, and let people share it.”
At age nineteen, he got his first Chevrolet Corvette. Today, Richard Stein owns three Ferrari’s, and will soon own a fourth.
Andre Ionsu, a car enthusiast who helped Richard Stein transport his Ferrari’s from Pine Brook to Livingston, described Mr. Stein’s three Ferrari’s: a 458 Spider, a 599 GTO, and an Enzo.
Ionsu described the 458 Spider and 599 GTO as, “incredibly fast, both with different driving characteristics.” He added that the Enzo was a “limited edition, made only in 2003, with 399 cars produced in total.”
It was seven years ago when Richard Stein got involved in charity, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. “I realized I’d better do something good with my life, so I decided to raise money for various charities, including Parkinson’s” he said. The highest amount he raised from an individual was $6,500 for Autism Speaks.
Mr. Stein estimates that the event at George Press Jewelers this year will raise between $5,000 and $7,000.