Dave’s Body Shop marks 30 years of donations to Hi-Rise

By Brandi Makuski

Tuesday marked 30 years since Dave Suchon started giving back to residents at Hi-Rise Manor.

Suchon, the owner of Dave’s Body Shop, said he was first asked to help residents of the city’s low-income property by one of the tenants, Sister Leone Juszczyk, in 1988.

He and his wife Donna made their latest delivery Nov. 27: $2,500 in food and toiletry items purchased at Trig’s.

As Suchon tells it, Juszczyk brought her vehicle to his shop for repairs sometime in 1987. The two struck up a friendship, and “anytime she called, I came running; whatever she needed I tried to help.”

Juszczyk died two years ago, but Suchon said he continues the tradition in her memory. Every penny spent on good and hygiene products, he said, comes from his own pocket. Local farmer Joe Firkus also donated 400 pounds of potatoes, which he also does annually at Suchon’s request.

“Anyway these people need help a lot more than I do, and it’s just a good thing to do, giving back to the community,” Suchon said.

Suchon typically brings a truckload of food to the Hi-Rise twice a year, near Christmas and Easter.

“This is just wonderful, we really need this,” said Hi-Rise resident James Evin. “You have no idea.”

The couple is well-known in the community for their philanthropy. They regularly purchase new bicycles for needy kids and often donate new bikes as for during local Easter egg rolls and raffles. One year, the couple noticed kids playing in the downtown fountain and decided to pay the city’s water bill for the month.

“We just saw how much fun the kids were having and wanted to do something nice for them,” Suchon said.

Hi-Rise Manor is home to about 70 rental units for low-income and disabled residents meeting certain qualifications, located at 1300 Briggs Ct.