Supporting ACDS, one wash at a time

Merrick business owner gives back to ACDS


Drivers in Bellmore-Merrick have likely passed by, or maybe even stopped at, Sunrise Car Wash on Sunrise Highway in Merrick.

Ira Wishe, 46, of Syosset, the car wash’s new owner, said he knew instantly that he wanted to give back to the community after taking over the establishment in June. “I was on Wall Street for 20 years,” Wishe said, “and while I was there, I did a lot of philanthropy work, raised a lot of money for a lot of charities. It was very important for me to give back to local communities.”

Partnering with ACDS, an organization that serves children and adults with disabilities, Wishe organized a fundraiser called Car Wash for a Cause. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Sept. 14 to Oct. 13, $2 from every wash was donated to ACDS, raising $1,024 for the agency, which serves many families in Bellmore and Merrick.

“It just so happened that one day, we were washing a van for ACDS,” Wishe explained. “I was talking to the [day habilitation attendees] who were in my wash, and I was talking to the person who brought them in, and said, ‘I want to give back to the community.’

“They said, ‘Well, we have a school and a building right here in Merrick.’ So I gave them my information,” he said.

Wishe was connected with Megan Lombardo, ACDS’s development director, and together, they figured out the fundraiser.

“It was Ira’s idea and vision,” Lombardo said. “He came up with an amount, and we’re just so grateful because it’s been such a hard time for our agency. We really have a big presence in Merrick.

“The support of a local business was so important to us post-Covid, when all of our fundraising events have all been canceled,” she continued.   

Mary Smith, one of the day habilitation attendees in Merrick, said she was thankful for Wishe’s support. Funds raised will go to support ACDS’s operations in Merrick.

“I love to have donations for ACDS,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to keep fundraising” for the agency.