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News & Updates

Greater Stark County Area Auto Dealers Donate $24,000 for Two Causes
July 01, 2013

Greater Stark County Area Auto Dealers Donate $24,000 for Two Causes


James F. Kling
Greater Stark County Area Dealers Association

Greater Stark County Area Auto Dealers
Association Donates $24,000 for Two Causes

Canton, OH (July 1, 2013) – The Greater Stark County Area Dealers Association (SCADA) has donated a total of $24,000 for two separate causes, in keeping with a tradition of the Association supporting local and national charities. Board members of the SCADA recently presented a check for $12,000 to the Refuge of Hope in Canton, OH, as well as another check for $12,000 to the Red Cross’ Stark County Service-Armed Forces Outreach. 

“After a dealership becomes successful, they have two obligations,” says James F. Kling, executive vice president of the SCADA. “The first obligation is to give back to their industry. The second is to give back to the community.”

The donations are but two of the causes the SCADA will support this year.

“As an organization that has been around since 1939, we have given back in many ways,” adds Kling. “We had some discussion this year as to where we could offer additional help. I couldn’t be happier with the two organizations that we have chosen to extend our support to this year.”

The Refuge of Hope is a Christian-based rescue mission in Canton, OH that provides hot nutritious meals for the hungry and hurting. In addition, the Refuge of Hope also operates a 34-bed Men’s Emergency Shelter, one of only two in Stark County, OH.

“I can’t begin to tell you how valuable this donation is,” says Duane Wykoff, executive director of the Refuge of Hope. “We get about 70 percent of our money in the last quarter of the year. So we really have to budget our money in the summer.”

Most of the funding for the Refuge of Hope comes from people, organizations like the SCADA and churches. The organization does get a small amount of grant and foundation money.

“But we don’t take government money because we don’t want the restrictions that are sometimes placed on an organization by the government,” says Wykoff.

Wykoff makes no bones about the Refuge of Hope being a Christian Mission. However, the focus of the Mission is on feeding the hungry and helping the homeless first and foremost.

“Unfortunately, our growth has been phenomenal. We have gone from serving 14,500 meals a few years ago to serving just under 69,000 meals last year,” says Wykoff. “We feed anyone who is hungry. So, our success would really come from us working ourselves out of a job.”

Craig Young, president of the SCADA and owner and dealer principal of Young Truck Sales in Canton, OH, spearheaded the SCADA efforts to help fund the Refuge of Hope this year. For Young, the selection of the Refuge of Hope was an easy one.

“My wife has volunteered here and we have also been to several of their fundraisers,” says Young. “When the board talked about distributing some additional funds for charity this year, we all thought that this was simply a great organization.”

From left to right: Rick Cuenot of Waynesburg Carriage; Craig Young of Young Truck Sales and president of the SCADA; Duane Wykoff of the Refuge of Hope; Jim Kling, executive vice president of the SCADA; Dave Waikem of the Waikem Auto Family; and Andy Bellavia of AutoNation Ford North Canton present the $12,000 check in front of the Refuge of Hope in Canton, OH.

In a second presentation made the same day, the SCADA also gave a check for $12,000 to the Red Cross' Stark County Service-Armed Forces Outreach, an organization that helps military personnel serving in any area of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as their families.

The organization provides pre-deployment support, offers a relaxed atmosphere where military families can share their experiences, and provides “psychological first aid” for families dealing with the stress and emotions associated with military deployment.

The organization also offers “reconnection workshops” that help enhance the likelihood of positive reconnections among family members as well as a successful re-engagement of the service member in civilian life, among many other services.

For Melissa Seibert, regional manager of the American Red Cross’ Service to Armed Forces, who oversees the program, it is not just a job or a service to veterans and their families, it’s a passion.

“I would like to thank the SCADA on behalf of the men and women who fight for our country,” says Seibert, pointing to a “Wall of Heroes” on display in her office. “We have over 27,000 veterans in Stark County alone.

“There are a lot of men and women who I work closely with and there are also those families who have lost loved ones. After we bury a hero, these people have to know that their community still embraces and supports them.”

From left to right: SCADA board members Rick Cuenot of Waynesburg Carriage; Craig Young of Young Truck Sales and president of the SCADA; Jim Kling, executive vice president of the SCADA; Dave Waikem of the Waikem Auto Family; and Andy Bellavia of AutoNation Ford North Canton present a check for $12,000 to the Red Cross' Stark County Service-Armed Forces Outreach to Melissa Seibert (center), regional manager of Services to the Armed Forces for the Red Cross.

SCADA board member, Andy Bellavia, general manager of AutoNation Ford North Canton, brought the organization to the attention of the SCADA’s board.

“I’ve dealt with Melissa on a few other projects and she has been just wonderful,” says Bellavia. “Her service to our men and women in the Armed forces has been nothing short of phenomenal. There is a huge need in our community for this kind of organization, because we have a huge population of current military and veterans. That made it very easy for me to approach our board and say this is a worthwhile cause. And, of course, all the dealers pulled together and decided this was a cause we could support.”

Obviously, these two worthwhile causes are but two of the many causes the auto dealers in Stark County support. Over the years, the SCADA has also given in excess of $75,000 to help support automotive technician student scholarships at Stark State College. The dealers’ group has also given extensively to the Habitat for Humanity. In addition, the dealerships in Stark County often support everything from local schools to little league teams and other local charitable causes.

“Dealers are natural born leaders,” adds Kling. “In order to be a leader, you have to stand behind the people who support you. And the best way we can do that is to support our community.”

About the SCADA

Since its founding in 1939, the Greater Stark County Area Dealers Association has served as an advocate for franchised new vehicle and truck dealerships operating in the Stark County area and surrounding communities. The organization is dedicated to promoting, advancing and maintaining the general welfare of the retail automotive business.

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