Continuing a tradition begun in 2008, members of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association agreed to donate $20 for every unit sold at their 2011 Labor Day Weekend sale at the Festival at Bel Air shopping center, to a local Harford County charitable institution that serves members of the community in need.
For 2011, the Dealer Group decided to make the Harford Family House the recipient of the donation. Previous beneficiaries were the Harford County Commission on Veterans (2008), the Harford County Community Action Agency (2009) and SARC (2010).
"We feel that Harford Family House provides an important, often-overlooked service to so many members of our community," said Thomas D. Walls, owner of Plaza Ford and president of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association. "We learned that it costs about $20 to house a Harford County family overnight, for instance, and that the demand is so great that Harford Family House has to turn away families because of lack of space. We hope that our donation will help Harford Family House expand its operations."
The members of the association agreed to contribute $20 for every unit (car, truck, van, new or used) that was sold at (or as a result of) the annual sale.
"We had a very good 2011 sale," Walls said, adding, "even though we had our first Memorial Day Weekend sale just three months before, and with the hurricanes, earthquakes and fears about the economy, we didn't know quite what to expect." The total number of units sold through the Labor Day Sale in 2011 was 388, which came to $7,760. Thompson Kia, Plaza Ford and Jones Junction donated enough to bring the total contribution to $8,000.
Thanking the dealer group, Harford Family House Executive Director Joyce Duffy said: "We thank the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association for its wonderful contribution. The Harford Family House works to help Harford citizens in need, and to achieve our goal to end homelessness in Harford County, one family at a time. This wonderful contribution will go a long way!"
Other ongoing charitable actions of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association include a permanent endowment of a Harford Community College Scholarship, which pays all expenses for a full-time student each semester, continuing contributions to the Harford County Environmental Scholarship Fund, and support for many local charities and educational institutions.
The Members of the Bel Air New Car Dealers Association, all dealers in or near Bel Air, are Adams Suzuki, Bel Air Honda, Boyle Buick GMC Truck, Heritage Auto Mall, Jones Junction, Plaza Ford, and Thompson Kia. The Association, founded in the late 1970s, has held an annual Labor Day Weekend New Car Show and Sale for the past 32 years, the last 19 of which have been at the Festival at Bel Air shopping center on Route 24 at Bel Air South Parkway.