CHICAGO (Oct. 28, 2021) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this week the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) matched Gregory Auto Group's donation of $1,250 to Women and Children's Horizon, an organization that provides support, shelter and education for local victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The contribution came via the CATA's Chicagoland Dealers Care initiative in which the CATA matches an area dealer's donation to a charity of their choice.
The check presentation was held at Gregory Infiniti Libertyville and included CATA Chairman Kevin Keefe, also a local Honda and Subaru dealer; CATA President David Sloan; Gregory Auto Group President Gregory Mauro; Libertyville Mayor Donna Johnson; Lake County Sheriff Deputy Chief Edward Jenkins; and representatives and supporters of Women and Children's Horizon.
"I've been in the car business for 40 years and have employed staff members who have experienced domestic abuse and trauma first-hand," said Mauro. "This cause is extremely important as domestic violence affects millions of people in this country and causes not only physical - but also mental - harm to the victims involved. I am grateful for the CATA's Chicagoland Dealers Care program as it helped to extend my donation just that much further for this wonderful organization."
One of Women and Children's Horizon supporters in attendance was Lisa Fuller, mother of Bianca Vite who was brutally murdered by Vite's husband on Christmas Day 2012. She was 21. Prior to this incident, there hadn't been any reports of domestic violence related to this case.
Fuller happened to be one of Mauro's previous employees.
"We hope that by sharing Bianca's story, we can help others who are domestically abused and hopefully even save people's lives," said Fuller. "There's just not enough awareness out there, so we are trying to do our part by advocating on Bianca's behalf - and for everyone in her shoes."
Women and Children's Horizon has provided services to those in need for 40 years. They offer shelter for up to 35 women and children, access 24 hours per day/seven days a week, safety planning, police reporting services, legal guidance and individual therapy.
Because car dealerships are closely woven into the fabric of their local communities, many individuals and organizations turn to dealers in a time of need. The CATA has been a longtime supporter of local nonprofit organizations like Women and Children's Horizon. Since its inception in 2008, the grassroots Chicagoland Dealers Care program has donated $122,000 to local charitable organizations. Additionally, since 1992, the association has raised more than $56 million for significant Chicago-area charities during the annual First Look for Charity black-tie event, traditionally held the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens to the public.
"The CATA's Chicagoland Dealers Care program not only helps stretch our member's donation dollars for wonderful organizations like this, but it also shines a spotlight on new-car dealers' positive impact within their communities," said Keefe. "We applaud local dealers like Gregory Auto Group for their very generous contributions to help people who desperately need this support."
For more details on the Chicagoland Dealers Care program, please visit www.ChicagolandDealersCare.com. To learn more about Women and Children's Horizon, please visit www.wchkenosha.org.