Auto dealers collect toys, money

Published 8:21 pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

Starr Motors contributed a check for $1,035 to the Cheer Fund on Friday. The company raised the money through a variety of recent efforts. Participating in the presentation were, from left, Starr Motors President Clay White, the company’s Toys for Tots coordinator David Jernigan, Suffolk Toys for Tots coordinator John Woleben, Starr Motors rental manager Sandy O’Dell, and co-owner Eddie White.

Every year, Suffolk’s car dealers prove some of the most prolific collection sites for Toys for Tots.

That remained true this year, even though the dealerships don’t sell toys — well, not toys for children, anyway.

“I thought it was a huge success,” said Clay White, who co-owns Starr Motors on Pruden Boulevard with his brother Eddie.

Duke Automotive collected toys for Toys for Tots in the back of a new pickup truck on the showroom floor. The dealership won a friendly competition with Starr Motors to collect the most toys, winding up with 739 toys.

Email newsletter signup

Starr Motors collected 652 toys at the dealership. They also raised about $1,035 through a variety of mediums — donating money for every new Facebook like, giving $100 for every sold vehicle of three models during the season and contributing $5 per test drive during the month.

In addition, the Chrysler Mid-Atlantic Business Center will match the $800 contributed for sales of certain vehicles, White said.

And then there were the toys.

“I couldn’t believe we had so many toys,” White said. “We filled (Toys for Tots coordinator) John Woleben’s van up. We were very happy. But Duke beat us … that sorry son of a gun.”

White playfully referred to Duke Automotive down the street, which collected 739 toys.

“It’s always fun, bantering back and forth (with Duke),” White said. “They’re great people. We’ll beat them next year.”

Sue Barnes, a marketing consultant for the Suffolk News-Herald, accepts a $500 check for the Cheer Fund from Mike Duman, owner of Mike Duman Auto Sales in Suffolk.

Starr Motors now is in the running to see how much money it raised among all the Chrysler Mid-Atlantic dealerships, which covers states from Pennsylvania to Virginia. If they win, there is a cash prize, which White says they’ll also donate to Toys for Tots.

A third Suffolk dealership, Mike Duman Auto Sales, contributed to Toys for Tots by donating $500 to the Cheer Fund.

It’s not too late to give to the Cheer Fund, which raises money for Suffolk Toys for Tots. Contributions received now will help purchase toys for next year.

To give, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to our office at 130 S. Saratoga St. Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

We’ll print recognition of your donation in the paper, but it can be marked “Anonymous” if you like. It can be made in honor of or in memory of someone. We’ll even take a picture of you handing it to one of our staff, if you like.