A Tree Grows in Harlem

Written by Alex Budman for the Huffington Post


The same hands that are opening the limousine door for celebrity clients such as Edward Norton, Matt Damon and Tom Hanks are planting the seeds of change in the Harlem Success Garden. Tony Hillary is the brains behind the limousine company T.Z.R Transportation with an all-star clientele, as well as the founder of the nonprofit organization Harlem Grown. How Tony seamlessly brought these two worlds together is where the story gets interesting. Let me explain.

Tony Hillary started his own limo company T.Z.R Limos in 1999. Over the next eleven years he built the business up to one that serves many Hollywood VIP’S. Tony developed personal relationships with many of his clients, and the airport pick-ups usually led to lively discussions about current events. In the 2009 recession, Tony saw a massive decline in bookings, resulting in his spending more time at home, brooding about his future.

Feeling depressed and watching his business go down the drain, Tony needed something to fill his time. He started reading about the American education system. He decided that he wanted to get involved working with children. He also made a life choice; he decided, “If I can’t be rich, I might as well be happy.” Tony was about to experience a new form of richness in his life, one that is not based on monetary rewards.

Read more here.

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