Continuing a tradition begun in 2008, members of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association made two $5,000 donations to Harford County charitable institutions that serve members of the community in the greatest need for food and shelter.
Checks were presented Tuesday to the Harford Community Action Agency in Edgewood, which manages and stocks the county's food banks, and the Faith Communities and Civic Agencies United (FCCAU) Welcome One Emergency Shelter in Belcamp.
"We had two very successful parking lot sales at the Festival at Bel Air during 2012, over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends," Thomas D. Walls, president of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association, wrote in a press release. "We sold over a thousand units all together at these sales. This success is significant, considering the economic stress the region and the entire country is under. Since the community so strongly supported us at these sales, our members thought it was critically appropriate to give something back to the greater Harford County community to show our thanks."
According Chuck Boyle, owner of Boyle Buick-GMC Truck and treasurer of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association: "After much discussion, the dealers felt that we should directly help the neediest members of our community, especially during the holiday season. We identified many different worthy local organizations who could do that, some of which we have supported in the past, before settling on these two," he states.
Each charity received a commemorative "Big Check" noting the donation.
Thanking the dealer group, Harford Community Action Agency Executive Director Judith Mason noted that, "This donation will do so much good — for instance, it will keep our trucks on the road delivering food to all the food pantries in Harford County throughout the holiday season. We have one food pantry in Edgewood that serves 800 families a month, but we are also the food bank for about 60 other organizations, mostly faith-based, that feed the needy throughout Harford County," she added.
FCCAU Welcome One Emergency Shelter Executive Director Susan Moscareillo said, "I'm very excited about this donation. Our Belcamp shelter's 31 beds accommodate 25 men and six women every night, and we also provide three meals a day, laundry and shower facilities, and case management to help people find a solution to their situation. This $5,000 donation pays for the equivalent of 162 'bed nights' at our shelter, enough to fund the entire shelter's operations for five days, or to fund one space from now through next March."
Previous beneficiaries of donations from the Bel Air New Car Dealers include the Harford County Commission on Veterans (2008), the Harford County Community Action Agency (2009), SARC (2010) and the Harford Family House (2011). The Bel Air New Car Dealers Association also funds a full Harford Community College Scholarship, which pays all expenses for one full-time student each semester, as well as one student's award each year from the Harford County Environmental Scholarship Fund.
Members of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association for 2012, all dealers in or near Bel Air are Adams Suzuki, Bel Air Honda, Boyle Buick GMC Truck, Heritage Auto Mall, Jones Junction and Jones Kia and Plaza Ford. The association, founded in the late 1970s, has held an annual Labor Day Weekend New Car Show and Sale for the past 33 years, the last 20 of which have been at the Festival at Bel Air shopping center on Route 24 at Bel Air South Parkway.
For more information on the Bel Air New Car Dealers, visit http://www.belairnewcardealers. For information about the FCCAU Welcome One Emergency Shelters, visit http://www.welcomeoneshelter.com, or the Harford Community Action Agency, visit http://harfordcaa.org/.