10 May Johnny’s Garage
Roslyn Heights, NY, May 10, 2017 — What’s your favorite room in your home? For some, it may be difficult to choose just one. But John Grillo, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s former board president, says there’s no doubt which room his father Johnny would have chosen: the garage!
In honor of his father’s memory, John Grillo, in addition to contributing and helping to raise funds for the renovation of the Guidance Center’s garage, made a separate significant gift to officially name it “Johnny’s Garage.”
On May 8, several staff, clients and community members joined together to dedicate the garage to the senior Grillo, whom his son describes with great affection. “Johnny’s Garage is dedicated to my father, a man who was always fixing something. He was military trained during WWII as an aircraft and auto mechanic, but was equally comfortable around anything with an engine. It made absolutely no difference whether it was manufactured in 1925 or 1999. He was truly a mechanic’s mechanic with an unrestrained passion to repair things….anything.”
Grillo shared his experiences watching his father working on a 1957 Jaguar XK-120, which hadn’t run in more than 15 years: “He charged the battery, removed and replaced the spark plugs, installed a new set of points, a new condenser and rotor, drained and changed the oil and oil filter, checked the spark, adjusted the timing, cleaned out some very gunked up carburetors, sprayed some Marvel Mystery oil in the cylinders, turned the engine over, and then vroom…..five hours later this classic car was running like a top.”
He proudly noted that his father was happy to help anyone in need. “All of our friends, neighbors and relatives knew that if they had a problem, just go see Johnny Grillo and he’d fix it. I think his confidence and belief in himself was the major ingredient in his magnificent tool bag.”
Also that evening, the garage was “christened” by the Guidance Center’s Parent Support Group, where clients utilized the garage as a painting studio and created vibrant canvases of sunflowers.
“We’re so grateful to John Grillo for his longtime support of the Guidance Center,” said Executive Director Andrew Malekoff. “John is clearly like his Dad in that when there is a need, he’s right there to help provide a solution. His service to our mission has been unwavering.”