Lawndale auto shop surprises employee’s family with check

Preferred Automotive Specialists secretly raised more than $1,000 for an employee whose daughter has cerebral palsy.

Preferred Automotive Specialist employees present mechanic Chuck Bishop and his family with a check for $1,025. They raised the money to help Bishop’s daughter, Breianna, who has cerebral palsy. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Employees from Preferred Automotive Specialists wore green Monday, March 25, in support of 13-year-old Breianna Bishop, but Breianna and her family weren’t prepared for what happened next.

Breianna has cerebral palsy, and her dad, Chuck Bishop, works as a mechanic in the Lawndale shop. He asked his coworkers to wear green for National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.

What he didn’t know was that employees had been secretly collecting money to help out his family. They presented Bishop, Breianna and his wife Christiana Padulese with a check for $1,025 and an arts and crafts basket for Breianna.

The money, which was raised by Bishop’s coworkers, the business and several customers, brought the bearded Bridesburg resident to tears.

“I wanted to try to do something for him because I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a child that is in that condition and the medical bills and all that stuff,” said Tom Palermo, Preferred Auto’s general manager. “We just wanted to do it to try to help him out.”

Chuck Bishop, Breianna Bishop and Christiana Padulese react after being presented with a check for $1,025. The money was secretly raised for them by employees at Preferred Automotive Specialists in Lawndale. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects a person’s balance and ability to move. Bishop said Breianna, a student at Bridesburg Elementary School, uses a wheelchair most of the time and needs assistance if she gets out of the chair.

Breianna was diagnosed with CP at age 3.

“Ever since then, it’s just been a day-by-day struggle with her,” Bishop said. “We take it day-by-day with her.”

“She’s doing good,” he added. “She’s in a regular school. We didn’t want to treat her any differently than the regular kids, but she does have an aide with her at all times.”

Brieanna, even before she knew about the check and art basket, said she was happy to see everyone at the Oxford Avenue shop wearing green, the color of CP awareness.

“I like the support,” she said. “It’s really nice of them to do this for me.” ••