Car Fans Bring Joy to Children

The second annual Car Show at The Children’s Inn once again united avid car fans and a mix of beautiful and rare vehicles with one goal in mind: to bring joy to seriously ill children and their families who stay at The Children’s Inn at NIH.

The lipstick-red 1935 Cadillac LaSalle Convertible was a cheerful eye-catcher, driven to The Inn by owners Randy and Susan Denchfield of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Car Show
NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., spends time with NIH pediatric patients staying at The Children’s Inn and their families during the second annual car show. He is pictured with (from left) Abel, 11 and Amana, 8, siblings of Amani, 13, who recently underwent a bone marrow transplant for sickle cell disease at the NIH Clinical Center, and their parents, Lydia and Moses.

“The most enjoyment we get from our cars is sharing them with others, especially with children,” Randy says. “Showing and putting them in the rumble seat is the real joy. They are amazed at roll-up windows, running boards and suicide doors.”

The rare beauty is one of only nine registered in the Cadillac LaSalle National International Directory.

Lydia and Moses, parents of Inn resident Amani, 13, and his siblings, Amana, 8, and Abel, 11, loved the impeccable condition, striking color and design of the Cadillac. But Amani, 13, who recently underwent a bone marrow transplant at the NIH Clinical Center for sickle cell disease, picked a different show favorite.

“The Lamborghini Aventador was his fave,” his mom, Lydia, explains.

Thanks to the generosity of Alessandro Farmeschi, chief executive officer of Lamborghini Americas, Amani didn’t just get to admire the two Lamborghinis Farmeschi brought but also had the chance to sit in the Aventador, feel the steering wheel and push the pedals – experiences that made a deep impression.

“He loved seeing the latest cars and the powerful engines,” his mom says. “It was an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Children and families staying at The Inn were also treated to a McLaren 650 S, a historic, black Lincoln Continental, a shiny, orange 2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0., a red Ferrari and others.

Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder X-34*, guarded by two live Storm Troopers and two armed Jawas, provided additional highlights. Darth Vadar, also known as Eric Jacobs of the Theresa Sondra Jacobs Foundation, brought his Death Star Hummer H1, equipped with a custom-built laser smoke machine as well as Star Wars giveaways and toys for children staying at The Inn.

Star Wars vehicles and Batman

Driven to Cure’s (DTC) customized, brilliant orange Nissan GTR also made an appearance along with several cars provided by DTC supporters.

A special thanks to Ken Visser, a GRSi contractor at the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and a dedicated Children’s Inn volunteer, for organizing the event for the second year in a row.

View more photos below:

Children's Inn Car Show