Monthly Love Promise
Retailer Winners

8/24/2017

Investing in Tomorrow

Brown’s Manassas Subaru
Manassas, Virginia 

Brown’s Manassas Subaru, Manassas, Virginia

The children of today are tomorrow’s future. This is just one of the reasons why Brown’s Manassas Subaru has donated countless volunteer hours and more than $5,000 in support of Cougar Elementary School, a Title I K-2 school located about 3 miles from the retailer. “I believe that community involvement is extremely important from a business standpoint – letting people know that we’re here, that we care, that we are involved and giving back,” says Patrick Hall, general manager of Brown’s Manassas Subaru. “As the Love Promise started to gain some momentum, it appeared to me that Cougar Elementary would be a wonderful partnership.” From book drives to administrative lunches to putting together holiday mugs filled with chocolates, candies and Starbucks gift cards for the staff, Brown’s Manassas Subaru is committed to supplying the school with the tools they need to help their students succeed. “As a dad, I understand the importance of little acts of kindness for kids,” Hall says. “For me, it’s letting these kids and these families know that we care, and that we’re going to do what we can to help.”

Eco de Mayo

Capitol Subaru of Salem
Salem, Oregon

Capitol Subaru of Salem, Salem, Oregon

Located in the Willamette Valley, Salem is a nature lover’s paradise, complete with old-growth forests, waterfalls, mountains and picturesque lakes. Living around such beauty has no doubt had an impact on the owners and staff of Capitol Subaru of Salem. For more than a decade, the retailer has partnered with Straub Environmental Center, a local nonprofit that promotes education and awareness of ecological stewardship. In the past four years alone, Capitol Subaru has donated more than $50,000, and more than 100 hours per year, to the organization. In May, the retailer hosted its first-ever Eco de Mayo event, which welcomed more than 100 attendees and vendors, including the Salem Audubon Society and a vermiculturist who showed children the benefits of worm farming. “Our partnership with Straub Environmental Center is just the right thing to do,” says Brian Schindler, manager of business development at Capitol Subaru of Salem. “We promote the well-being of Earth, and maybe we’ll sell a Subaru in the process if someone agrees with what we find to be important.”

Spring Cleaning

Continental Subaru
Anchorage, Alaska

Continental Subaru, Anchorage, Alaska

Known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, Anchorage is home to the Chugach Mountains to the east and Cook Inlet to the west. Every May, the local community comes together for a tradition that spans nearly 50 years. Anchorage Citywide Cleanup Week aims to preserve the cleanliness and beauty of the city with the help of volunteers who remove debris and trash from roadways, community parks and other locales. In May, Continental Subaru elected to clear out a nearby wooded area that had been used as a dumping ground for years. “Our group spent about three hours filling multiple truckloads with used needles, broken bottles and rotting garbage,” says Susan Hamilton, director of advertising for the retailer. “We are a very close and diverse work family, and have many team members who have been with the company 20-plus years. When the ‘call to serve’ is announced, we rally around the cause and work together to get the job done.”

Feed the Need

Dewey Griffin Subaru
Bellingham, Washington

Dewey Griffin Subaru, Bellingham, Washington

One of the biggest obstacles in advertising is finding a way to get your message heard in a noisy world. For Dewey Griffin Subaru, the message is critical; in Whatcom County, one in five households use a food bank regularly and 35 percent of the recipients are children. Rather than throw money at the issue, the retailer used a portion of its advertising budget to rally fellow Bellingham businesses and residents to fund the 2016 Feed the Need Community Food Drive, benefitting all Whatcom County food banks. “Awareness is key,” says Allen Meyer, the retailer’s general manager. “We don’t just talk about cars in our advertising. We also talk about what’s going on in our community.” Through radio ads, Dewey Griffin Subaru and Industrial Credit Union offered to match donations of any local business donating up to $5,000. In 2016 alone the program raised $215,000 for Whatcom County food banks ‒ more than any previous year by a long shot!

Cuddle Dispatch

Donaldsons Subaru
Sayville, New York

Donaldsons Subaru, Sayville, New York

People come in and out of our lives, but the unconditional love of a pet is unwavering. At Donaldsons Subaru, a group of self-professed animal lovers, partnering with Westhampton Bideawee, America’s first no-kill animal rescue founded in 1903, proved a no-brainer. “It started with us doing one adoption event at the retailer location,” says Steve Fulco, general manager of sales operations, “and has morphed into a successful relationship finding forever homes for dozens of animals.” Over the past three years, Donaldsons Subaru has helped place 22 pets and has covered more than $6,600 in adoption fees. Aside from hosting mobile adoption events at its Long Island retail location, Donaldsons Subaru also takes part in the nonprofit’s Cuddle Dispatch program. “We load up two Forester vehicles with homeless pets and visit local businesses, organizations and even special needs homes for adults and children,” Fulco says. “It’s stress-relieving cuddle time, and you can’t help but smile while watching it happen.”

Delivering Meals with Love

Fairway Subaru
Greenville, South Carolina

Fairway Subaru, Greenville, South Carolina

Meals on Wheels America is more than just a meal delivery service for seniors in need. The program delivers hope, friendship and independence to thousands of seniors each week. “We always try and support organizations that are relevant to our business,” says Foster McKissick, president of Fairway Subaru. McKissick and his staff have been working with Meals on Wheels of Greenville County, which has delivered nearly 1,300 hot, nutritious meals every weekday since 2009. “We are committed to our own delivery route two to three Fridays of every month,” McKissick says. “We rotate our staff members so they can go out and do deliveries during their lunch hour.” Fairway Subaru employees also visit the local Meals on Wheels headquarters to prepare and package meals. Beyond that, the retailer donates funds from its Share the Love event, and assists in applying for Subaru grants, bringing in roughly $15,000 from each initiative per year. “This partnership represents a segment of our customers,” McKissick says. “We have a lot of seniors who purchase Subaru vehicles and appreciate the safety and ride comfort. This is our chance to give back to them.”

Barrels by the Bay

Gateway Subaru
Delmar, Maryland

Gateway Subaru, Delmar, Maryland

Did you know that water is the most important nutrient on Earth? It’s involved in every function of the human body, and provides essential minerals to plants and animals. Across the Eastern Shore of Maryland, an average of 45 inches of rain falls per year. In one year, just one rain barrel can collect 31,500 gallons of water, decreasing the flood risk for the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding areas. Gateway Subaru partners with Barrels by the Bay, a nonprofit focused on sustainable development through the use of rain barrels. Through the program, they provide Coca-Cola syrup barrels that have been retrofitted into rain barrels for Wicomico County public schools. “Subaru is about the environment, community and kids, and so is our ownership,” says Astrid Bravo, marketing coordinator for Gateway Subaru. “It’s important to us to make a positive impact in our community and our hometown.” Nearly 50 rain barrels were donated to teachers and students across the Eastern Shore. Many were painted with eco-scenes evocative of their surroundings: flora and fauna, marine life and plenty of sunshine.

Meals for All

Hanson Subaru
Olympia, Washington

Hanson Subaru, Olympia, Washington

The first year Hanson Subaru staff took part in Senior Services for South Sound’s annual food drive, they brought a vanload of nonperishable soups, snacks and sports drinks. In 2016, the Subaru staff had to rent a box truck to deliver the more than 6,500 pounds of food collected. “It was the care and concern of the staff that caused us to commit to their organization,” explains Vince Hanson, vice president of Hanson Subaru. “When you sit down and speak with their management staff, and the people on the ground who work one-on-one with the seniors, it’s obvious that they are extraordinary humanitarians.” Hanson Subaru also dedicated a portion of its 2016 Share the Love Drive to Senior Services for South Sound, raising $33,500 for the organization. “Seniors have supported the local community during their working careers,” Hanson says. “Now that they are the ones in need, it is our responsibility as community leaders to ensure that they have the best we can offer them.”

Time, Talent and Treasure

Mark Miller Subaru South Towne
Sandy, Utah

Mark Miller Subaru South Towne, Sandy, Utah

When the folks at Mark Miller Subaru South Towne choose causes to support, they ask themselves an important question: “How can we use our time, talent and treasure to make the biggest difference?” Over the years, the answer has been twofold; raise more than $34,000 to renovate Imagination Playground at The Children’s Center in Salt Lake City, and spearhead the #leaveyourMARK campaign, which creates awareness for, and acceptance of, diversity. “These are the pillars that direct the work we do,” says Mike Aguilar, the retailer’s marketing director. When The Children’s Center, which provides mental health care for families with young children, approached the retailer asking for help rehabbing its outdoor play space, Mark Miller Subaru South Towne jumped at the chance. The retailer selected The Children’s Center as its Hometown Charity for the Subaru Share the Love Event. “Play is powerful,” Aguilar says. “It helps children know that they are, in fact, children, and that it’s okay to go outside and get dirty and run around.” The second cause that has received South Towne’s time, talent and treasure is its own #leaveyourMARK campaign, which brought together more than 100,000 people from diverse backgrounds. “It started when we covered a Subaru Outback in a coloring book-style wrap, brought it to more than 25 local events and invited people to draw on it,” Aguilar says. “In those moments, people were able to work together to create a masterpiece. That’s what life is all about ‒ working together for a common purpose.”

Horseback Riding in Hawaii

Nate Wade Subaru
Salt Lake City, Utah

Nate Wade Subaru, Salt Lake City, Utah

For Leah, a young Salt Lake City teenager diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, horseback riding in Hawaii was a daydream that helped get her through the difficult days of her debilitating disorder. When Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted Nate Wade Subaru to help make Leah’s dream a reality, the staff and owners jumped on board. “We weren’t given much information about her Wish Proclamation,” says Carli Claflin, outreach coordinator for Nate Wade Subaru. “So I started talking to Leah’s mom and just kind of ran with it.” Through the retailer’s Share the Love event, more than $20,000 was raised for the foundation, and that resulted in a fun-filled day for Leah, including horseback riding in town and a Hawaiian-themed luau at Nate Wade Subaru ‒ complete with Polynesian dancers, coconut bowling and lei making. “At the end of the day, Leah thought that her wish had been granted,” Claflin says. “But that was just the beginning. A few months later, we sent her and her entire family to Oahu for a week to go horseback riding.”

Community Service

North Country Subaru
Queensbury, New York

North Country Subaru, Queensbury, New York

Instilled in them at a young age by their father, Ken, brothers Jared and Eric Lendrum, co-owners of North Country Subaru, are committed to making their community a better place to live. “The more we grow, the more we can give back,” Eric says. Founded in 1976, the retailer has worked with dozens of charitable organizations over the years, but it’s their commitment to Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council (LARAC) and Open Door Mission that has garnered recent recognition. LARAC is dedicated to unifying the arts community and establishing a cultural identity for the Northeastern New York area. When LARAC approached the Lendrums seeking help for a day camp for kids ages 8 to 12, the brothers rounded up supplies and put together an itinerary. “It was a small idea at first and, quite frankly, a relatively small investment from our part,” Eric says. “We just gave them the means to do what they do best.” The Lendrums were both on-hand at the camp to work with the kids, and Jared even made pipe cleaner roses for the little girls. That same summer, the retailer launched its Drive for Hunger campaign to benefit The Open Door Mission in Glens Falls. Customers, staff and ownership donated nonperishable food items and school supplies to help kids in the area start the school year off right. “What it really boils down to for us is that our work with the Mission will never stop because they are never going to run out of mouths to feed,” Eric says. “The beauty of these campaigns is that while Subaru is giving us the tools, we know our town and we know who needs help.”

Pet Star of the Week

North Park Subaru
San Antonio, Texas

North Park Subaru, San Antonio, Texas

Each week, the folks at North Park Subaru host photo shoots of models and staff members posing in different cars in their showroom. The difference between bygone-era automobile advertising and these promotions is that the models here are furry, four-legged friends ‒ cats and dogs looking for their forever homes. “We are working together to change our community by decreasing the homeless pet population,” says Chad Binder, the retailer’s general manager. For two years, North Park Subaru and the Animal Defense League of Texas (ADL) have worked together on their Pet Star of the Week campaign. Photos from the shoots are posted on various social media platforms, resulting in more than 100 adoptions of older, shy and disabled pets ‒ animals that typically have a harder time getting adopted. Last summer, the retailer also donated a “Rescue Ride” cargo van to the no-kill animal shelter and, for three years running, has chosen ADL as its Hometown Charity for the national Share the Love campaign. “We want to do things that help in a meaningful way,” Binder says. “And Subaru owners love dogs.”

Road to Recovery

Olathe Subaru
Olathe, Kansas

Olathe Subaru, Olathe, Kansas

Fighting cancer is an uphill battle that takes hope, persistence and sometimes even the help of complete strangers. When Bill George, owner of Olathe Subaru, heard that people in his community were struggling to get to their cancer treatment appointments, he took action. Olathe Subaru has teamed up with the American Cancer Society as a local partner in the Road to Recovery program. George enlisted the help of Jim “Doc” Snyder, who has worked at the retailer for close to 20 years, and drives three to four patients per week. “It’s been very rewarding,” Snyder says. “All of us can get wrapped up in our lives. These folks have a lot going on and they usually have the best attitudes.” Snyder says over time he builds lasting relationships with each and every patient he drives. “I get to know them, their families and their history,” he says. “And I share mine with them.”

Gifts of Love

Parkway Subaru
Wilmington, North Carolina

Parkway Subaru, Wilmington, North Carolina

We give and receive gifts because they are tokens of love and thoughtfulness, and that is exactly why Parkway Subaru partnered with New Hanover County Department of Social Services to ensure that local foster children had a very special Christmas in 2016. “The 15 sponsored children were chosen based on their needs at the time,” says the retailer’s internet sales manager, Matthew Heath. “Everyone at Parkway was excited to make a difference in their lives and enjoyed shopping for everything from Matchbox® cars and dolls to clothes and shoes.” With more than 10,000 children in social services throughout North Carolina, and more than 500 in New Hanover County alone, not only presents were needed to make certain a happy holiday was had by all. Parkway Subaru also partnered with several area restaurants to provide food for the NC LINKS program Christmas party. The NC LINKS program provides support for youths between the ages of 13 and 21. “Everyone at Parkway believes in giving back to the community we live in,” Heath says. “It’s just another part of what we call the Parkway Difference.”

Fill the Forester

Subaru of Puyallup
Puyallup, Washington

Subaru of Puyallup, Puyallup, Washington

Knowledge is power. That’s why Subaru of Puyallup is committed to making sure that the students in their community have the tools to succeed. “We have a lot of underprivileged kids in our area,” says Gary Pavlovich, the retailer’s general sales manager. “So we partnered with Life Center, a church in Tacoma, to raise funds, backpacks and school supplies for anyone in need.” For the past five years, Subaru of Puyallup has held its summertime Fill the Forester back-to-school drive, calling on the community and staff to donate everything from colored pencils and crayons to notebooks and pencils. “Throughout our partnership, we’ve aided in helping 16,800 people,” says Pavlovich. “But it’s more than just a backpack drive. Life Center also sets up days where kids can come and get haircuts, mini-physicals and everything they need to start the school year off right.”

Redefining Tough Love

Schulte Subaru
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Schulte Subaru, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

A big part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them. That’s why when Mike Schulte, owner and general manager of Schulte Subaru, received a call that two young boys had damaged several cars on his lot, he decided to redefine the tough love approach. “We asked the police if instead of pressing charges, we could try and get to know the families and their situation,” Schulte says. “We didn’t want the boys to pay for these mistakes their entire lives.” The then-10-year-old and his family soon moved out of town, but Schulte and his staff started building a relationship with the 14-year-old. They helped his family move into a better apartment, bought the boy a bike to ride to school, and gave him a job detailing cars on Saturdays with a small portion going toward the damage. “We wanted him to have the satisfaction of helping to pay back the damages that were incurred,” Schulte says. “We’ve been a family business for 40 years, and a sense of community is really important to us.”

From Prom to Haiti

Subaru of Wichita
Wichita, Kansas

Subaru of Wichita, Wichita, Kansas

Subaru of Wichita works with various philanthropic causes, but all are centered on one mission: children first. “Children are our innocence in this world,” says Noah Taylor, the retailer’s marketing director. “We do anything we can to make their lives better. Not only will that give them a better life, but we hope it will impact them to also give back, continuing a culture change in our city of giving to others and caring for others.” One such cause is Night to Shine, a prom night experience for people with special needs through the Tim Tebow Foundation. Staff donated prom dresses, volunteered their time at the event and covered the cost of party supplies. Thousands of miles from Kansas, another community needed help. Balan, Haiti, is considered one of the poorest and driest areas in the country. Subaru of Wichita established Walking in the Reign, which serves the people of Balan through various projects focused on education, nutrition, clean water, economic development, health and Faith in Action. Back in the States, the retailer aimed to start the 2016-2017 school year off right by providing more than 400 staff and teachers in the local school district, USD 259, with breakfast, thank-you cards and the first apples of the year ‒ a way for kids to show appreciation for all that their teachers do. “A promise is just words, so we live by a ‘love commitment,’” Taylor says. “A commitment requires action. We’re always looking to give back. We’re always looking to make a change.”

It Takes Teamwork

Tacoma Subaru
Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma Subaru, Tacoma, Washington

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer approximately every three minutes. For Renee Willis, parts manager at Tacoma Subaru, the diagnosis of her then-20-year-old son changed her life. “I get emotional when I talk about it,” she says. “But he’s been in remission since November of 2009, and now has a 2 1/2-year-old son of his own.” During that difficult time some eight years ago, Willis and her family became involved in LLS’s Light the Night event, an annual, nationwide walk to raise funds for treatments, and to find a cure. The Willises even started their own team called Hope Instillers, and today they are one of the top fundraisers in the state. What started out as a pet project for Willis and a few other staff members at Tacoma Subaru has grown into one of the retailer’s top philanthropic causes, raising more than $65,000 since 2010. “We host huge garage sales, restaurant takeovers and ice cream socials as well as our walk each year,” Willis says. “In 2016, we surpassed our goal of $11,500. Whatever is needed to support LLS and other families affected, we do it.”

Toy Jam

Timmons Subaru
Long Beach, California

Timmons Subaru, Long Beach, California

Anything that can be done to make a sick child smile is worth its weight in gold. For more than 15 years, Timmons Subaru has held its annual Toy Jam to benefit Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, a not-for-profit pediatric teaching hospital that treats more than 8,000 children each year. “The event is near and dear to many of us,” says Jennifer Sauer, internet sales director for Timmons Subaru. “The tests and procedures these kids have to endure are scary, so a toy or stuffed animal may be just what they need to face that fear.” Every fall, customers, business partners, staff and the Timmons family donate toys at the retailer’s big event. Baby dolls, superhero figures, toy cars and stuffed animals are loaded into a caravan of Subaru vehicles and delivered (with the help of a police escort) to the hospital. “The kids come out and get a kick out of seeing the cars and, of course, they love the toys,” Sauer says. “This will be a tradition that will continue year after year.”

Kick Off to Summer

West Houston Subaru
Houston, Texas

West Houston Subaru, Houston, Texas

The formula is simple, but successful. West Houston Subaru and Citizens for Animal Protection, a shelter for homeless animals, are located just three doors away from each other on the busy Katy Freeway. This proximity has resulted in a partnership placing 5,375 animals into their forever homes since 2011. During a single event held in early June of 2016, West Houston Subaru sponsored 171 adoptions. “It was the beginning of our Kick Off to Summer event, which we hold yearly,” explains co-owner Gloria Meszaros. “We focus on animals that aren’t as adoptable, like older pets or ones that have been in the shelter for more than 90 days.” West Houston Subaru hosts anywhere from five to eight adoption events per year, and Meszaros estimates that they’ve helped raise over $745,000, including the donation of five Subaru vehicles for raffles at charity events. “My husband and I both love animals,” she says. “This partnership was meant to be.”