Sandy Olmsted (left to right), Gerry Olmsted and DanMcMillan ...
January 21, 2013
When Dan McMillan of Orland Park's Joe Rizza Ford entered the dealership into the Chicago Automobile Trade Association Chicagoland Dealers Care Facebook contest, his goal was to keep it as local as possible.
"It was a community effort," McMillan said before he presented the Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarship Fund and Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists with the contest winnings Monday, Jan. 14, at the dealership. "Erin's and AAIM are really dear to our heart."
Each of the Chicagoland new-car dealerships in the contest nominated a charity of their choice to be considered and "liked" via Facebook. The duo with the most votes was awarded a $3,500 check, and deemed the winner of the contest. According to Jennifer Morand, the senior public relations and social media manager of CATA, the contest generated some hundreds of thousands of votes on the company's Facebook page.
"It's a great way for us to give back," she said of the donations. "Our dealers nominate organizations so it's a good process."
Erin's AAIM founders Sandy and Gerry Olmsted, who reside in Orland, were in attendance on Jan. 14 to receive not one but two checks from the Joe Rizza Ford dealership. They couldn't have been happier with knowing the funds are going to be used for scholarships for students as well as to continue to promote taking action against drunk driving.
The Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarship Fund was started by the Olmsteds after their daughter Erin was killed by a drunk driver in 1996. The fund continues to raise money with an annual 5K race and other various efforts in the community of Orland Park to support Sandburg students as well as AAIM.
"There's no way in the world we would have did it on our own," Gerry Olmsted said of winning the contest. "A lot of the funds go to AAIM as we partner with them. The rest of the funds will go to scholarships of Sandburg students and a few from Plainfield East."
In total Erin's and AAIM accumulated nearly 35,000 votes.
"We had an army of people up 'til midnight that night voting," Gerry Olmsted said. "It was fun [and] the money really is being put to good use."
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