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Ford Media Center
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 26, 2017 – Ford and Lincoln dealers in the U.S. gave more than $100 million and 800,000 hours to local causes and nonprofits in 2016 – according to Ford Motor Company’s annual survey on Dealer Giving.
The survey coincides with the 17th-annual Salute to Dealers Awards being delivered at the 2017 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in New Orleans. Ford and Lincoln dealers participating in the survey donated approximately $114 million. This generosity reflects Ford Motor Company’s global brand promise to Go Further in delivering great products, a strong business and a better world.
In the survey, nearly 80 percent of dealers said their teams give both time and money to local causes. Most dealers say they are driven to make a difference in their communities because giving is a part of their dealership tradition.
Ford and Lincoln dealer employees reported volunteering a total of more than 800,000 hours in 2016. This donation of time and support is a boon for local charities, with many reporting budget and staff shortages.
“Time and time again our dealers find ways to truly go further in their communities,” said Edsel B. Ford II, who chairs the Salute to Dealers awards program and is a member of the Ford Board of Directors. “I am continually amazed by the selfless efforts of our honorees and nominees who choose to make a difference in people’s lives every day.”
Dealers give to causes that address a broad range of community needs – from children’s charities to the environment, from education and health care to parks, municipal services and disaster relief.
In 2016, children’s causes topped the list, with 69 percent of responding dealers donating, followed by 62 percent giving to education and scholarships. Fifty-six percent gave to veteran’s causes, while 46 percent participated in initiatives focused on police, fire and other first responders.
To demonstrate Ford’s commitment to its thousands of dealer owners who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference, Ford launched the Salute to Dealers awards in 2001.
This year, Edsel B. Ford II and four other judges selected six winners from a total global field of nearly 80 nominees from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, plus Africa and the Middle East regions.
As part of the award, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is donating $10,000 to a charity of each dealer’s choice.
A painted portrait of each honoree features a montage of the philanthropic and volunteer activities that led to the award. Duplicates of the portraits will join a Salute to Dealers display in the lobby of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
Ford’s 2016 awards recognize the following dealers for their unparalleled generosity and commitment to their communities:
Ken Crowley, Crowley Ford Lincoln, Plainville, Conn.
Ken Crowley has a passion for public service, as demonstrated by Crowley’s annual JDRF Golf Tournament that has raised more than $1 million to support the fight against Type 1 diabetes and the search for a cure.
Crowley also is actively involved in Operation Embracing Lonely Families (E.L.F.), a program that benefits the families of deployed troops by hosting an annual Christmas party and providing families with food, toys and money.
Additionally, Crowley Ford Lincoln was one of the first dealerships in the nation to participate in the U.S. Army Reserve’s Employer Partnership Initiative, the purpose of which is to train and hire veterans in civilian careers after their discharge from active duty.
Crowley’s dealership personnel also serve as event ambassadors in the Drive 4 UR School and the Lincoln Driven to Give programs, providing dealerships around the country with tips and information on how to help schools and charities host fundraising events.
Crowley’s personal dedication to these initiatives, and the many other services and charitable endeavors he takes part in, typify his leadership and compassion for helping others.
Natalie Tindol, Tindol Ford, Gastonia, N.C.
Natalie Tindol has positively affected countless lives in the Gaston County community. As a fitness instructor at the local YMCA, she is a positive role model, inspiring members to develop a healthy mind, body and spirit.
Tindol also is passionate about her role with the local Girl Scouts, where she’s been a troop leader for 13 years, working with young girls to develop leadership qualities and self-confidence. She believes the influence a caring adult has on a child will last a lifetime.
As the past president of the Community Foundation of Gaston County, Tindol assisted with the coordination of an annual event where over 100 nonprofits come together to raise money for their charitable organizations, generating more than $12 million over the past 12 years.
Natalie uses her dealership as a platform to strengthen countless lives in the community, raising money for the local Boy Scouts, the Gastonia Police Foundation and schools across the county through the Education Foundation. With her caring spirit, positive attitude and willingness to give of herself, Tindol is a humanitarian in the truest sense.
Alan Jay Wildstein, Alan Jay Ford Lincoln, Inc., Sebring, Fla.
Alan Jay Wildstein has built an incredible legacy of generosity, selflessness and commitment to his community. In addition to annually donating to hundreds of charities, events, organizations and individuals, Wildstein has established several favorites that he and his management team are especially proud of which are highlighted below.
The Alan Jay Wheels for A’s program gives one graduating senior at each of five local high schools a late-model vehicle as they start the next chapters of their lives. Seniors earn entries into the drawing with each ‘A’ they record during their senior academic year. Nearly 70 vehicles have been given away to date, through live drawings during each school’s commencement ceremonies.
Additionally, Wildstein has sponsored 16 Habitat for Humanity homes, with no. 17 now committed for 2017.
Each holiday season for more than 20 years, Wildstein adopts a local elementary school. Wildstein and many of the Alan Jay team members dress as Santa and elves, distributing toys to each and every one of the over 500 students.
Arguably, Wildstein’s greatest talent has been his ability to plant the seeds of philanthropy in the hearts of his 400 team members, who actively give their time, money and efforts throughout the community all year long.
Vaughn A. Wyant, Jubilee Ford Sales Ltd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Vaughn Wyant is a true leader in his community, with a deep-rooted commitment to improving the lives of others. Wyant led a hands-on effort, with fellow dealers and local businesses, to create and auction a custom-designed Ford F-100 truck at Barrett-Jackson, raising $450,000 USD for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. The project highlighted his vision, leadership and dedication to working together for a common goal.
For more than 25 years, Wyant and his company have been the lead sponsor of the Black Tie Bingo for Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation, which has raised over $2 million for critical services and equipment in health care.
Wyant also donated $1 million toward the construction of a new, world-class art gallery that will be a great cultural learning and meeting place for young and old alike – leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Most recently, Wyant made a $500,000 donation to the University of Saskatchewan to help construct a new sports and recreation facility for community use. In his family life and beyond, by lending a hand with manual labor or investing his time and resources for a charitable cause, Wyant constantly looks for ways to be involved and make a difference.
Paul Brown, John Andrew Ford, Auckland, New Zealand
Paul Brown is a dedicated advocate and supporter of Camp Quality, a charitable initiative that focuses on improving the quality of life for children living with cancer. The program provides summer camps and year-round activities in a stress-free and caring environment. Proceeds from his dealership’s many fundraising efforts – over $950,000 to date – have helped Camp Quality grow its offerings and the number of children they can accommodate.
Brown also is a generous supporter of the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge, a seven-day, cross-country event that raises money for a variety of charitable causes. Each year his dealership donates vehicles to the winners of the corporate challenge race, who in turn assign the vehicles to be used by selected charities, including the Cancer Society and Ronald McDonald House, among others.
Brown has recently completed two terms on local school boards, spearheading fundraising efforts and donating his personal time to important educational projects. Brown has undeniably established a reputation for caring and is a true role model for his community.
Turgay Mersin, Sadıkoğlu, Uşak, Turkey
Turgay Mersin and his family’s dealership group have made significant contributions to their country’s economy and their community at large. Mersin has shown a steadfast commitment to projects with a focus on improving educational opportunities, health awareness and the social well-being of the community.
Mersin’s passion for education includes donating funds to help build several schools, as well as initiating and supporting a business club with a local university that pairs students with industry and business.
On the health front, Mersin regularly supports the Association of Disabled Persons and a local nonprofit organization that raises cancer awareness through the Today One Hour and Tomorrow One Life campaign.
His contributions to social causes include building a new mosque for the community and raising awareness and social sensitivity regarding violence against women. Environmental contributions are also important to him and include creating a “Memorial Wood” through the planting of more than 3,000 trees, as well as the building of a new well to provide much-needed water in Tanzania.
Each year, Mersin finds new ways to support the community, providing the needed time, resources and educational opportunities to support its growth and prosperity.
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