At first, you might be inclined to think something called Salute to Dealers is about dealerships with the best coffee and bagels in the customer waiting area. It’s not. It’s an initiative from Ford, and now in its 12th year, designed to honor Ford and Lincoln dealer principals who improve the lives of those in need while also providing outstanding products and services. Each year, as a group, they support and participate in hundreds of programs for a multitude of worthy causes.
What is your dealership up to? We want to know, because during this time of year, stories of goodwill and cheer are especially meaningful to hear. Also, if you work at a dealership, don’t forget to snag a Ford Social Dealer Badge here! Not a dealer? Grab a badge (or more than one!) that does suit you here, be it your love of Mustangs, racing, music, The Great Outdoors or choose from the many others, including one that represents the Ford you drive!
And now, here’s a look at the 2011 Salute to Dealers award-winners and their causes:
Ronnie Watkins, Ronnie Watkins Ford, Gadsden, Alabama
“I’ve supported Gadsden’s ESTEEM program from its beginning. ESTEEM rewards disadvantaged kids when they get good grades. We’re sponsoring trips to museums and amusement parks, we’re helping with their nutrition and health care, and we’re encouraging them to believe that they can achieve great things if they work hard.”
Keith Kocourek, Kocourek Ford, Wausau, Wisconsin
“My daughter accompanies me on Angel Flights. We once picked up three kids from Chicago’s inner city and flew them to a camp in Minnesota for kids who are critically ill, to give them a week of fun. We’ve flown breast milk from Minnesota to Ohio for premature babies. I have the flexibility and the resources, so I volunteer when I can.”
Paul Miller, Paul Miller Ford, Lexington, Kentucky
“We have a great city that provides countless opportunities for giving, and we’ve participated in everything from fundraising efforts for saving horses to saving lives at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. More than 40 charities in 58 years. As a Ford Dealer, we feel it’s important to be part of the fabric of our community.”
Don and Cheryl Brenengen, Brenengen Ford, Sparta, Wisconsin
“We were able to help get a Boys and Girls Club started by leading a fundraising effort and remodeling a vacated clinic building. Attendance has been about 80 youths a day and membership is over 500.”