-Last year, 91 percent of Ford and Lincoln dealers contributed financially and 81 percent volunteered time to local causes – according to annual Ford Survey on Dealer Giving -Ford and Lincoln dealers donated nearly $100 million and volunteered more than 700,000 hours in 2015 -Six dealers from around the world are being honored for exceptional community service
April 04, 2016 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time
LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For the second year in a row, Ford and Lincoln dealers gave nearly $100 million to local causes and nonprofits in communities across the United States in 2015 – according to Ford Motor Company’s annual Survey on Dealer Giving.
The survey was administered by Ford to coincide with the 16th annual Salute to Dealers awards at the 2016 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in Las Vegas.
Ford and Lincoln dealers participating in the survey donated approximately $96 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.
Ford’s Salute to Dealers awards recognize dealers who go above and beyond when it comes to giving back to the communities in which they live and work. Six dealers were selected from among more than 10,000 Ford Motor Company dealers worldwide. They are being recognized for exhibiting unparalleled giving, dedication and leadership to their communities.
In the survey, 91 percent of dealers said they give money to local causes, 81 percent volunteer time to local causes, 87 percent are looking to make a difference in their communities and 66 percent support local causes as a dealership tradition.
Ford and Lincoln dealer employees volunteer a total of 728,201 hours annually, the survey shows. This donation of time and support is a boon for local charities, with many reporting budget and staff shortages.
“I am continually amazed by the selfless efforts of our honorees and nominees, who provide countless hours and resources to improve lives in their communities and beyond,” said Edsel B. Ford II, who chairs the Salute to Dealers awards program and is a member of the Ford board of directors. “Time and time again, they find a way to reach out with their generosity and kindness to support those in need. In the end, the impact on their communities is truly inspiring, and in every case – in every city and every country – these dealers are setting the highest standards for caring.”
Dealers give to causes that address a broad range of community needs – from children’s charities to the environment, from education and healthcare to parks, municipal services and disaster relief.
Children’s causes top the list, with 91 percent of dealers donating, followed by education and scholarships, with 71 percent of dealers contributing to each. Religious-driven charities attract 58 percent of Ford and Lincoln dealer contributions, veterans’ causes account for 54 percent and hunger relief makes up 45 percent.
The Salute to Dealers awards were launched in 2001 to demonstrate Ford’s commitment to its thousands of dealer owners who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference.
This year, Edsel B. Ford II and three other judges selected winners from a total global field of 80 nominees from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, Africa and the Middle East regions.
As part of the award, Ford Motor Company Fund is donating $10,000 to a charity of each dealer’s choice.
A painted portrait of each honoree features a montage of 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, Michigan.
Ford’s 2016 awards recognize the following dealers for their unparalleled generosity and commitment to their communities:
Rhett Ricart, Ricart Ford; Columbus, Ohio, United States
Rhett Ricart, dealership president and CEO, and son of founder Paul Ricart, has followed in his father’s footsteps by committing to a legacy of giving within the Columbus community. Founded in 1953, family-owned and operated Ricart Ford supports more than 500 employees and many Columbus charities.
The family’s love of music inspired them to support the annual Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Bluegrass Festival, where 100 percent of proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis. Ricart Ford is also a major contributor to Ronald McDonald House in downtown Columbus.
By valuing its customers and employees, Ricart Ford has been the No. 1 retail Ford dealership in the United States for more than 15 years.
Bill Currie Jr., Jennifer Currie-Bellomo; Bill Currie Ford; Tampa, Florida, United States
Fifty-six years after his father bought a Ford dealership in Hazlehurst, Georgia, Bill Currie Jr. and his sister, Jennifer Currie-Bellomo, carry on their father’s legacy in Tampa – selling cars and changing lives.
With a soft spot for children’s charities, Bill Currie Ford has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The dealership has a special relationship with the Children’s Cancer Center – a support service for families of children with cancer. Bill Currie Ford was influential in helping young Josh Fisher’s family, in particular, as they dealt with his leukemia.
The Currie family is a longtime proponent of Tampa’s military community. Employees wear red shirts every Friday in support of the Remember Everyone Deployed Program. They regularly visit bases and present awards to members of the military.
Renato Costa, Forauto Veículos; Criciúma, Brazil
Rubens Costa started in the car business nearly 50 years ago, serving the city of Criciúma in southern Brazil. His son Renato joined the business in 1983, and together they have made Forauto a success in the region. But with the ups and downs of the Brazilian economy, the road to establishing a thriving dealership has not always been easy.
Costa family members have used their good fortune to make a difference in the community with a special emphasis on assisting the elderly and children. Through an involvement spanning 35 years, the Costas have helped the Barrio Da Juventude or Youth Quarter provide support and care to 1,500 children and their families.
The Costas also support the local St. Vincent de Paul assisted living facility, where Rubens Costa once volunteered many years ago.
Phanee Piticharoenkit, Ford Pattani; Thailand
Located in southern Thailand, just north of the Malaysian border, Ford Pattani has assisted its community through economic challenges linked to a violent and politically complex insurgent uprising. The dealership supports its community through contributions to local educational and health-related causes.
Phanee’s father Chookiat Piticharoenkit is the founder of the dealership. A charitable foundation was established in his name in 1995. Chookiat Piticharoenkit Foundation provides 300 scholarships for local students, and has provided funding for construction of new facilities including a large library, prayer room and modern classrooms.
The foundation has awarded more than $2 million to advance educational opportunities, assist the Thai Red Cross, and improve available healthcare in the region through upgrades to Pattani Hospital, which serves 6,000 people. Because of the foundation’s support, a special patient unit was built and the hospital’s operating rooms were modernized.
Mike Stollery, Barrie Ford; Barrie, Ontario, Canada
As a young salesperson, Mike Stollery saw early on that the best dealers were highly active in their communities. As a result, he resolved to make charitable giving and community involvement a core Barrie Ford value.
Barrie Ford supports a variety of local initiatives, including Barrie Food Bank, where dealership employees collect and donate 10,000 pounds of food for the We Scare Hunger and Christmas food drives.
In addition, the dealership supports Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College nearby – providing mentorships, scholarships, fundraising and leadership. Stollery also provides college scholarships to family members of the Canadian armed forces and support to the local Gilda’s Club.
O.C. Welch, O.C. Welch Ford; Hardeeville, South Carolina, United States
O.C. Welch’s Ford Lincoln dealership is located in Hardeeville, South Carolina, but his roots lie just across the state border in Savannah, Georgia, where he has always felt the urge to give back.
Welch’s giving includes donating more than $500,000 to Benedictine Military School of Savannah – a military faith-based institution where he learned important lessons about life as a young man. He also spent $3 million to help renovate Bacon Park Municipal Golf Course, where he got his first job. By adding new holes, fairways, tees and an irrigation system, Welch prevented the course from shutting down.
In addition, Welch is a founding member of the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire, which provides financial assistance to the surviving spouses and children of first responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 199,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit .www.corporate.ford.com.
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