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Local car dealer finds unique way to donate to WellSpan’s front line workers

May 05, 2020

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Dean Lloyd, dressed as the T.O.Y. Bear, spent 53 hours on the roof of the Toyota of York dealership to raise money for front line health care workers.

Dean Lloyd, dressed as the T.O.Y. Bear, spent 53 hours on the roof of the Toyota of York dealership to raise money for front line health care workers.

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 in $18,000.”

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 effort.

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 out.”

Learn more about helping WellSpan Health in this COVID-19 pandemic.