CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2021) - This holiday season, local car dealers have teamed up with charitable organizations to help fulfill the holiday dreams of less fortunate children. Area dealers from Fox Lake to Tinley Park understand the vital impact their businesses have on the communities they serve, which is why they're going the extra mile for causes such as Toys for Tots and the Humanitarian Service Project.
"Chicagoland's new-car dealers are the pillars of their communities and among the first to donate to local organizations in need," said Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) Chairman Kevin Keefe. "This holiday season is no exception."
Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Fox Lake is again partnering with Jeeps on the Run (JOTR), a local Jeep enthusiast club and the largest donating group to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program in Lake County. On Sunday, Dec. 5, more than 700 Jeeps are anticipated to participate in the 25-mile, fully escorted JOTR caravan that kicks off at the dealership and culminates at the historic Genesee Theatre where Jeep owners will offload their Toys for Tots donations to the U.S. Marine Corps.
"I started Jeeps on the Run nearly a decade ago as a family-oriented Jeep enthusiast club, but it has since evolved into a not-for-profit organization that gives back to charitable organizations all year long," said JOTR President Mike Missak. "Jeeps on the Run has become a tradition for local families and, to many, it's the kick-off to the holiday season. We simply wouldn't have the success we do if it wasn't for our supporters such as Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram."
JOTR is requiring advance registration for the event. The fee is $25 per Jeep and those who also purchase a raffle ticket will automatically be entered to win a 2021 Jeep Wrangler, donated by Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.
"We're thrilled to be the primary sponsor for this wonderful cause for the second year in a row," said Ray Scarpelli Jr., owner of Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Ray Chevrolet, also in Fox Lake. "We experienced so much success last year and saw firsthand the joy it brought to families in need, so it was a no-brainer for us to be involved again this year."
Friendly Ford in Roselle is hosting its annual "Fill a Ford" Toy Drive in partnership with the Humanitarian Service Project to ensure that each and every child in DuPage and Kane Counties who live in poverty will have gifts to open at Christmas.
Now through Dec. 7, community members and those in surrounding areas are encouraged to bring in new and unwrapped toys for kids of all ages to Friendly Ford. The dealership will "fill a Ford" with all of the toys and transport them to the Humanitarian Service Project for distribution to local families. Furthermore, Friendly Ford will match each toy with its own donation.
Apple Chevrolet out of Tinley Park is also collecting new and unwrapped toys for children of all ages now through Dec. 11 in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program. The dealership is encouraging people to help them reach their goal of filling eight Chevy Silverado pickup trucks full of gifts to help bring holiday cheer to less fortunate children. The dealership is also offering the option for people to ship a present directly to the dealership; they will take care of the distribution to Toys for Tots.
"We've partnered with Toys for Tots for eight consecutive years, as what better way to bring joy to those in need and give back during the holiday season," said John Alfirevich, owner of Apple Chevrolet. "People can drop of toys at our dealership anytime through Dec. 11, and on that day, we will be hosting holiday fun for local families including a DJ, balloon-making and even an appearance from the jolly guy himself, Santa."
Because dealerships are closely woven into the fabric of their local communities, many individuals and organizations turn to them in a time of need. The CATA is the area's new-car dealer association and has been a longtime supporter of local non-profit organizations. The association has donated more than $100,000 to local charitable organizations through its Chicagoland Dealers Care program, which helps expand on CATA members' donations and shine a spotlight on new-car dealers' positive impact within their communities.