Auto repair shop teams with Poughkeepsie Galleria for car show-food drive

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Local business owners Kevin and Lisa Eckler of Foreign Car Specialists have joined community service efforts with Kate Fakler, General Manager of Poughkeepsie Galleria, to host a benefit for Dutchess Outreach, a Poughkeepsie-based non-profit.

The “Pandemic CANdemic Relief Mobilization ” is a drive-themed event to collect canned goods and other non-perishables via drive-through donations.  Local car clubs and other auto enthusiasts are invited to join the event and participate in a mico-sized car cruise, with drivers lapping the parking lot ring roads to show off their cars. Food trucks from local operators will be on-site providing 50’s style “car hop” service, with music provided by iHeart Media.

Tara Whalen, Associate Director of Dutchess Outreach, called the planned event, an enormous boost.  “Dutchess Outreach has experienced a tremendous uptick in people coming to our pantry since the start of the pandemic.  The demand for non-perishable food has never been this widespread,” said Whalen.  Whalen also credited the organizers for offering to help.  “The offer by Foreign Car Specialists and the Poughkeepsie Galleria to help us as we help others could not have come at a better time.  We’re thankful for their assistance.”

Lisa Eckler of Foreign Car Specialists said “My husband Kevin and I were both raised with a strong sense of community.  When the pandemic started, we knew we needed to do something to help and we are glad we can do this to help feed those in need.”

Volunteers will be accepting donations directly from cars (drivers don’t get out), on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 from 10 AM to 2 PM in the north end of Poughkeepsie Galleria parking lot (near Macy’s and JC Penney).  Join our local community and drive into action!  Celebrating those who are out of work, overworked, and still working, together we can help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have some fun.

For more information, a list of acceptable donations or to inquire about opportunities to volunteer for this event, please contact Lisa Eckler at  or Kate Fakler at  Information on the services offered by Dutchess Outreach can be found here.