KAR's contribution to City Life Wheels of Central Indiana reaches $250K

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services announced Thursday that in addition to its initial $225,000 contribution to City Life Wheels of Central Indiana to fund the new KAR Auction Services City Life Wheels Training Center, it will commit another $25,000 grant for the program next year.

An Indianapolis-based non-profit, City Life Wheels teaches youth in its community basic auto maintenance and repair skills, using donated used-vehicles.

The new grant is to be used to help expand the City Life Wheels program, according to KAR.

KAR’s initial $225,000 grant helped fund the purchase and renovation of the City Life Wheels facility located at 2409 East Washington Street.

“As one of the state’s largest employers, KAR Auction Services is committed to supporting our community and the development of Indiana’s workforce,” KAR Auction Services chairman and chief executive officer Jim Hallett said in a news release announcing the new funding.

“The new KAR Auction Services City Life Wheels Training Center helps teens learn technical and personal skills that will help them succeed as adults in the automotive industry and beyond. I look forward to seeing program graduates as potential KAR employees,” Hallett continued.

The facility includes six automotive repair bays and lifts, diagnostic and repair equipment, a kitchen and classroom space where City Life also holds programs that provide support and assistance.

“As a non-profit organization, City Life Wheels depends on the generosity of others – donated cars, equipment and time – to advance our mission,” said Ali King, executive director at Central Indiana Youth for Christ and City Life Wheels.

“KAR’s support allowed us to complete this state-of-the-art center and will help us reach and train even more young adults. This partnership will not only improve the lives our graduates, but will positively impact the future of our entire community,” she said.

Jim Ellis Automotive employees take pledge against distracted driving


In an effort to eliminate distracted driving during the holidays, Jim Ellis Automotive Group recently announced that employees at each of its 15 dealerships are taking a pledge to be more attentive.

For every person who takes the pledge before January, the group said it will make a donation to the National Safety Council.

“All too often we hear of vehicle accidents and lives lost as the result of distracted driving,” Jim Ellis Automotive Group president and chief executive officer Jimmy Ellis said in a news release.

“As an organization that helps meet the mobility needs of our local communities, we also want to be a voice in those same communities challenging drivers to operate their vehicles responsibly. I invite you to join with my family and the Jim Ellis Automotive staff in a pledge to be a more attentive driver. Put away distractions that take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off the drive ahead. We each have the capability to make the roads we drive on at least one driver safer,” Ellis continued.

Anyone interested in joining the campaign can take the pledge at jimellis.com.

The pledge reads “I pledge to keep my EYES on the road, my HANDS on the wheel and my MIND on the drive ahead.”

“We are honored to partner with the Jim Ellis Automotive Group and its initiative to end distracted driving,” added National Safety Council chief development officer Jennifer Steffus.

“Preventable deaths are at an all-time high and we are losing tens of thousands of people on U.S. roads every year. We commend the Jim Ellis Automotive Group for taking action and helping to save lives by asking others to drive attentively,” he concluded.

Ally nominates 47 for TIME Dealer of Year


Ally Financial announced Monday that it has chosen 47 U.S. dealers as nominees for the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Each year, the award recognizes several successful dealers who show a strong commitment to community service.

In addition to a $1,000 contribution from Ally for each dealer's charity of choice,  will be formally honored during a ceremony at the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2018 NADA Show on March 23 in Las Vegas where Meredith Long, TIME news, luxury and style senior vice president and general manager, will introduce this year's nominees.

“Only a small fraction of the roughly 16,500 franchise dealers across the country are nominated for this award each year, putting the nominees into an elite group of automotive leaders,” Ally auto finance president Tim Russi said in a news release.

“This year's nominees have proven they understand, care and 'do it right' for their communities by giving in ways that make a difference to those in need. We are honored to celebrate their incredible stories and hope their examples motivate others to give,” Russi continued.

As the exclusive sponsor of the award program for the past seven years, Ally has contributed nearly $600,000 to the TIME Dealer of the Year program, according to the company.

Additionally, this year’s nominees will also be featured on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which promotes the philanthropic contributions and achievements of the award honorees.

Past award winners include Swope Toyota, Van Bortel Motorcars, AutoFair Honda, Teague Auto Group, Michael Alford and Mike Shaw Automotive Group.

Subaru launches annual fundraiser to benefit Make-A-Wish, local charities


Subaru of America recently launched its 10th annual Share the Love event, which will benefit Make-A-Wish America for the seventh year.

This month, through Jan. 2, Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased to Make-A-Wish or one of three other participating national charities of the purchaser's or lessee's choice, the company said in a news release.

Additionally, as a part of the Share the Love event, participating Subaru retailers can also select a fifth hometown charity from their local community where customers can direct their gift.

Several retailers have selected a local Make-A-Wish chapter as their hometown charity, according to Subaru.

Funds from the Share the Love event will help grant wishes for children like Sage, a young girl that Subaru featured in a television commercial about the annual fundraiser last year.

In the news release, Sage said her wish meant that “nobody's telling me to go get blood work, or go get a scan right now. Having a wish helps kids like me know there's something that's going to be better than what we've been going through this whole time.”

Sage wished to visit Jackson, Wyo., because she knew it to have some of the best snowboarding in the U.S.

“Together with Make-A-Wish, the Subaru Share the Love event has granted the wishes of more than 1,500 kids with critical illnesses like Sage,” Subaru of America president and chief operating officer Tom Doll said in a news release. “It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for Subaru owners, employees and retailers to bring joy to so many brave children in their communities and around the country. We are proud to work together with Make-A-Wish for a seventh year and continue making children's wishes come true.”

In its nine years, the Share the Love event has raised more than $94 million for local and national charities, including $23.4 million raised just last year, according to Subaru.

Over the past six years, Subaru and its retailers have donated more than $12.5 million to Make-A-Wish.

Last year, Make-A-Wish received $3.5 million from Subaru.

“Children facing critical illness need our help. Subaru's support, through their annual Share the Love event, has helped make life-changing wishes come true for wish children across the U.S.” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and chief executive officer.

“Research shows that having a wish come true can be transformational for a child battling a critical illness. We are beyond grateful to Subaru and its loyal customers for giving hope to wish children in a time of uncertainty, joy when they could be sad, and for continuing to Share the Love,” Williams continued.

Hyundai launches 2,000 frozen turkey giveaway, food drive for for Thanksgiving


Hyundai Motor America announced it will host a giveaway of 2,000 frozen turkeys to families where the company is headquartered in Orange County, Calif., for Thanksgiving.

In addition to the giveaway, Hyundai has also launched its annual food drive for can-goods. Its offices and Hyundai headquarters’ employees are participating in a CANstruction project to benefit Orange County-based non-profit Share Our Selves.

“Hyundai Motor America is committed to giving back to the community and helping its neighbors during times of need,” company director of corporate social responsibility Zafar Brooks said in a news release.

“This recent donation of 2,000 fresh frozen turkeys is a practical way to assist families in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. We are honored to partner with over 20 community-based organizations in distributing the turkeys and other items to ensure they get to those who are in need," Brooks continued. 

Up to Nov.18, can-good and non-perishable food item donations can be dropped off at Hyundai offices or any one of the following five locations in Fountain Valley, Calif.:

  • The Fountain Valley Senior Center, 17967 Bushard Street, Fountain Valley
  • Fountain Valley Recreation Center, 16500 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley
  • Fountain Valley City Hall Building, 10200 Slater Ave, Fountain Valley
  • The Fountain Valley Bowl, 17110 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley
  • Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, 10055 Slater Avenue #250, Fountain Valley

Hyundai headquarters employees’ CANstruction project aims to raise additional food donations, the company said.

The employees will team up to build CANstruction structures using approximately 2,000 can-good and non-perishable food items.

The can-goods will be added to Hyundai’s overall food drive donation for Share Our Selves, which provides over 60,000 meals a year to Orange County residents, according to Hyundai.

TrueCar announces veteran winner of DrivenToDrive giveaway

SANTA MONICA, Calif.  - 

TrueCar announced Tuesday the winner of its DrivenToDrive veterans program van giveaway.

Augusta, Ga., resident U.S. Army Veteran Major Peter Way will soon be receiving a retrofitted van that accommodates his physical needs, the company shared in a release.

TrueCar presented the veteran with keys to the brand new cargo van on Veterans day this past weekend. Way was chosen as the winner through TrueCar’s DrivenToDrive program after submitting an essay answering the questions "What Drives You?" and "How Would You Use a New Van?".

TrueCar recognized Way for his service on stage Saturday during the closing ceremony of  2017  at the Westfield Brandon Mall in Tampa, Fla. TrueCar chief executive officer Chip Perry presented Way with the keys to his new ride.

The DrivenToDrive program is dedicated to helping veterans regain personal freedom through driving, TrueCar explained.

Here’s a bit on Way’s story. In 2003, he was stationed in Afghanistan with Army Special Operations where he worked as a Special Forces Medic, when he was injured twice. Way served until 2013 when he was medically retired because of his injuries and has since endured more than 30 surgeries, including the amputation of his right leg in 2015, TrueCar shared in a press release.

The veteran has found adaptive sports to play a key role in his recovery, including adaptive mountain biking, hand cycling, kayaking, cross-country sit skiing and wheelchair basketball.

In fact, in addition to participating in previous Old Glory Relays, Way has been active with the US Paralympic Nordic Program, Team Semper Fi, Team Red White and Blue, Wounded Warrior Project, Wear Blue Run to Remember, Warfighter Sports and the Challenged Athletes Fund.

"I strive to be an example of strength and perseverance for veterans and non-veterans alike to show that if you want to do something, you can no matter what adversity you may encounter," said Major Way. "When I lost my ability to drive because of my injury, I really lost a huge chunk of my personal freedom and identity. This van is really a way for me to take care of myself and my family without needing anyone's help. I'm so thankful to TrueCar for this van and giving me back my freedom."

Once delivered, the van will be retrofitted to accommodate Way's physical needs and will provide a space for all of his adaptive athletic equipment, his family and support dog, Rory.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation gifts Nature Conservancy $30M for water project


The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation announced a $30 million project donation to The Nature Conservancy on Monday.

The company’s donation will be spread across five-years and be used for a project designed to help protect and preserve four major rivers and watersheds throughout North America and Europe, including the Mississippi River and Colorado River.

“My family and our company have deep roots in St. Louis, and one of the world's greatest rivers runs right through our hometown,” granddaughter of Enterprise founder Jack Taylor and foundation senior vice president and executive director Kindle Betz said in a news release. “But in light of Enterprise's international expansion, it was important that this gift benefit communities and their surrounding environment worldwide. We hope it will help more and more people understand and support the critical role rivers play in our lives.”

The project is called the "Routes & Roots: Enterprise Healthy Rivers Project," and it will support The Nature Conservancy's long-term water resource management initiatives, which benefit 150 million people, according to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation.

“This contribution is one of the biggest gifts we have received in many years,” Mark Tercek, president and chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy, said. 

“It will benefit both people and wildlife across two continents, while facilitating the sharing of best practices to drive global progress in conservation. This effort to preserve great rivers is about more than just protecting fresh water today – it also demonstrates Enterprise's leadership, vision and commitment to making a difference for the long term,” he continued. 

The $30 million project highlights the strategic importance of rivers and regional watersheds, the company said.

In addition to supplying drainage and outflow for rainfall and streams, they strengthen habitats, generate renewable energy and provide cost-efficient transportation options.

“Our philanthropic focus is not always directly related to our business, but instead reaches beyond to make a difference and improve the quality of life wherever our employees and customers live and work,” added Betz. “We're thrilled to support and partner with a world-class organization like The Nature Conservancy in this effort to help ensure that healthy rivers continue to enrich our lives for generations to come.”

The Enterprise Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand and Enterprise Holdings.

Roundup: Auction charity sale, expansion & more

CARY, N.C. - 

During the President’s Gala held during next week’s NAAA Annual Convention festivities in the , there will be a new fundraiser (Chapter Charity Auction) to benefit five charities.

The Gala itself is on Nov. 16 from 7 p.m. (PT)  to 9 p.m.

In addition to identifying the four charities to support, each NAAA chapter selected four exclusive items to go on the block for the charity new sale.

The auction items include a two-day high performance driving course package, a men’s Rolex watch with a gold NAAA logo, a 2018 Masters Golf Tournament package, along with a his and her Rolex and Louis Vuitton package featuring a two watches paired with a wallet and mini purse.

Proceeds from the sale will go to House in the Woods, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lynnway Accident Fund, Victory Junction and the American Cancer Society.

Calif. auction gears up for new expansion

AVDA Auction recently announced plans to add a fourth lane to its newly expanded location in North Hollywood, Calif. in January.

The company said its upcoming expansion is in response to high weekly inventory at the auction.

The location runs approximately 900 cars weekly, with highline vehicles making up about 20 percent of the inventory, according to AVDA.

“AVDA Auction the simple choice in auto auctions and has become a must-attend auction for dealers who are looking to buy or sell highline units,” AVDA Auction vice president Justin Soghomonian said in a news release. 

KIA joins CFAA

On Oct. 25 Kia Motors America began selling its vehicles through Columbus Fair Auto Auction.

“We are pleased to welcome Kia Motors America to Columbus Fair Auto Auction,” CFAA chief executive officer Alexis Jacobs said in a news release.

“As we continue to differentiate ourselves in the auction community, Kia will be the beneficiary of our targeted marketing approach and our willingness to experiment with technology to nurture our buyer base.”

This sale, along with all sales at CFAA, can be accessed via simulcast and on IAS Marketplace and CFAA.com.

“CFAA has a unique strategy that addresses the roles and responsibilities of each department as well as specific buyer needs through social media and client management,” added David Crockett of Kia Motors America. “CFAA’s approach to client engagement bodes well with Kia’s strategy to reach and assist Kia dealers.”

Spokane LHM dealerships to fund Thanksgiving dinner for less fortunate

SPOKANE, Wash. - 

Larry H. Miller Dealerships announced Monday that, for the fourth consecutive year, its Larry H. Miller Lexus, Larry H. Miller Downtown Toyota, Larry H. Miller Honda and Larry H. Miller Hyundai dealerships will fund the Union Gospel Mission’s annual City-Wide Thanksgiving Dinner for more than 1,000 homeless and low-income individuals and families.

In addition to a $5,000 donation, LHM said it will donate turkeys for every car sold or leased at the participating dealerships from this coming Thursday to Nov. 22.

Last year, LHM gave more than 150 turkeys to the Union Gospel Mission, according to the group.

This year’s dinner will be held at the Spokane Convention Center on Nov. 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“Our employees really look forward to supporting the City-Wide Thanksgiving Dinner each year,” Larry H. Miller Lexus Spokane general manager Bob McLean said in a news release.

“When they’re out shopping for their own Thanksgiving gathering, many of them will purchase an extra turkey to donate to the UGM dinner. In addition, we all enjoy volunteering together as a group to serve the dinner to our neighbors. It’s quite meaningful to see exactly how our donations help and who they help,” he continued.

“On a holiday that’s all about gratitude, we’re very thankful to Larry H. Miller Dealerships for underwriting the City-Wide Thanksgiving Dinner for the fourth year in a row,” Union Gospel Mission executive director Phil Altmeyer said. “They share our heart for this event, which is about showing people who feel down-and-out that they are valuable. Serving a special meal tells people that in a way words can’t express.”

The Union Gospel Mission has worked with underprivileged residents of Spokane since 1951.

In its more than 65 years, the organization has grown from a soup kitchen into a ministry made up of four shelters, two thrift stores, an automotive business and a summer camp for youth.

“It’s important to us to give back and support those who are less fortunate in our downtown neighborhood. We hope that partnering with the Union Gospel Mission in providing a warm meal and a special place to gather brings joy during the holiday season,” added Scott Brewer, general manager at Larry H. Miller Downtown Toyota Spokane.

Members of the public who would like to contribute to the dinner can donate online at or at any of the four participating dealerships.

GM Financial to donate car to Boston Ronald McDonald House

FORT WORTH, Texas - 

GM Financial announced Monday that it has chosen the Ronald McDonald House at Boston to receive a vehicle as apart of its Cool Cars for Remarkable Kids program.

The Ronald McDonald House at Boston Harbor is the 18th Ronald McDonald House to receive a vehicle since the program launched earlier this year.

This month, GM Financial also presented Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio with two vehicles.

“Among the myriad of challenges confronting Ronald McDonald House visitors is access to reliable and cost-effective transport to and from hospitals and treatment centers,” GM Financial president and chief executive officer Dan Berce said in a news release.

“Our Cool Cars for Remarkable Kids program seeks to meet this need by offering a mobility solution for Ronald McDonald House families. We are pleased to extend the program in Boston and contribute to the critically important work this organization is doing for the children and families it serves.”

The Boston Harbor house joins other participating locations in Texas, North Carolina, Arizona and Michigan. These are regions where GM Financial maintains a significant commercial or employment presence, according to the company.

“The housing need for families visiting Boston for its world-class hospitals is critical,” said Karen McEachern, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern New England. “The Cool Cars for Remarkable Kids program provides families seamless transportation between their apartment here at the Ronald McDonald House at Boston Harbor to their treatment hospitals — another way we can now deliver on our mission to keep families close.”

This year, GM Financial said it plans to gift a total of 30 vehicles nationwide.