As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Pennsylvania, health systems
like WellSpan grew busier in treating patients. At the same time, some
businesses, like car dealerships, were forced to temporarily close.
Dean Lloyd, General Manager of Toyota of York, decided to
pass his newfound free time by entertaining his co-workers.
“A few weeks ago, I started wearing this bear costume in
the showroom,” explained Lloyd. “I called it the T.O.Y. Bear, for Toyota of
York, and he was in hibernation because we couldn’t sell cars. That’s how the
bear thing came to be – just as comic relief for our staff and customers.”
What started out as a fun way to pass the time quickly
turned into something more generous. As he thought about WellSpan care teams on
the front lines fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, he decided to use the bear
costume as a way to help.
“I came up with the idea that the bear would climb up to
the roof of the dealership and stay there until we reach $7,500 for those on
the front lines,” said Lloyd. “53 hours later, we’d doubled our goal, bringing
Lloyd, in full T.O.Y. Bear costume, then wrote a check
for $9,000 to donate to the WellSpan York Health Foundation and the COVID-19
The WellSpan York Health Foundation is a community-based,
not-for-profit organization which helps improve the health of the local
community by supporting the York-based WellSpan locations.
“Dean’s donation is going to go a long way in assisting our
front line nurses with the important work they’re doing in combatting
COVID-19,” said Matthew Lane, executive director, WellSpan York Health
Foundation. “To see Dean and so many in our community willing to step up and
make these donations really shows how we are all in this together.”
When he first put on the bear costume, his goal was to
simply lift the spirits of his co-workers. He ended up doing so much more and
inspiring the community to take action.
“The average person was giving 25 to 30 dollars, so we
really got there by everyone pitching in as much as they could,” said Lloyd.
“It was cool to see the York County community come together to help each other
Learn more about helping WellSpan Health in this COVID-19 pandemic.