xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Woman wins car from Westminster dealership in American Cancer Society raffle, plans to ‘pay it forward’

Melissa Tully, left, corporate communications manager for MileOne Autogroup, holds the door for Kathy Miller of Arbutus, winner of the Ameican Cancer Society car raffle, as she sits in her new automobile for the first time, in the showroom of Heritage Honda in Westminster on Friday, Feb. 7. The vehicle, a 2019 Honda CRV-EX, was donated by MileOne Autogroup and raffled by the Ameican Cancer Society to raise funds for their Road to Recovery program.
Melissa Tully, left, corporate communications manager for MileOne Autogroup, holds the door for Kathy Miller of Arbutus, winner of the Ameican Cancer Society car raffle, as she sits in her new automobile for the first time, in the showroom of Heritage Honda in Westminster on Friday, Feb. 7. The vehicle, a 2019 Honda CRV-EX, was donated by MileOne Autogroup and raffled by the Ameican Cancer Society to raise funds for their Road to Recovery program. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

It may have been a stormy morning Friday in Westminster, but by noon, the sun was shining on Kathy Miller at the Heritage Honda dealership: She was handed the keys to a brand-new Honda CRV, a car she won after entering an American Cancer Society raffle.

“It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” she said. “I was going to go out in January and buy a used one because I can’t afford a brand-new one.”

Advertisement

The giveaway is part of a partnership between the MileOne Autogroup family of dealerships, of which Heritage is one, and the American Cancer Society that goes back decades

“The owner’s father had passed away from cancer and they wanted to give back. They have really embedded their entire charitable giving model on supporting the ACS,” Christine Schifkovitz, a community development manager with the American Cancer Society. "They donate the car and we will sell raffle tickets at all our events throughout the year, and then at the end of the year we do that drawing."

Advertisement
Advertisement

It was the first time in about 10 years that that a winner took the car over an alternative cash prize, according to Katrina Pemberton, senior director of advertising for MileOne Autogroup.

“Normally people take the cash prize and we give them a $20,000 check,” she said. “So it was really great for us that we got to actually give a vehicle away. To give her the keys and see her drive off was pretty great.”

Miller, who lives in Halethorpe, really needed the car.

“When my husband passed away, he had a pick up truck and I started driving that. I was involved in an accident and it was totaled in July,” she said. “I had a spare care that was my mother-in-law’s, and she has passed, so I have been driving that — it’s like a 1996 Saturn.”

Advertisement

The new Honda will be a significant step up for Miller.

Kathy Miller of Arbutus, center, winner of the Ameican Cancer Society car raffle, is embraced by Ameican Cancer Society executive director Tswana Sewell, while joined by Katarina Pemberton, right, MileOne senior director advertising, as they stand by her new automobile in the showroom of Heritage Honda in Westminster on Friday, Feb. 7. The vehicle, a 2019 Honda CRV-EX, was donated by MileOne Autogroup and raffled by the Ameican Cancer Society to raise funds for their Road to Recovery program.
Kathy Miller of Arbutus, center, winner of the Ameican Cancer Society car raffle, is embraced by Ameican Cancer Society executive director Tswana Sewell, while joined by Katarina Pemberton, right, MileOne senior director advertising, as they stand by her new automobile in the showroom of Heritage Honda in Westminster on Friday, Feb. 7. The vehicle, a 2019 Honda CRV-EX, was donated by MileOne Autogroup and raffled by the Ameican Cancer Society to raise funds for their Road to Recovery program. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

“I mean I have five grandkids. They call come down and they want to go out, I can’t fit everybody in that tiny little Saturn,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”

Miller wasn’t originally thinking about a new car when she purchased two raffle tickets at a breast cancer fundraiser held at the restaurant where she works. She was thinking of her husband, who passed away in 2017 of renal cancer.

“I always try to do something for the Cancer Society,” she said. “I do a lot of fundraisers and whatever I go to, I try to help out.”

So she expected to help people dealing with cancer, but Miller said a new car was a nice bonus.

“That was a big surprise, a very big surprise,” she said. “Actually I was dumbfounded.”

The $20 Miller spent on the raffle tickets goes directly to the American Cancer Society’s Baltimore-area Road to Recovery program, according to Schifkovitz.

“That is a transportation program where if cancer patients need a ride to or from treatment, we try to partner them with a local volunteer to transport them,” she said.

In 2019, raffle sales to people like Miller raised $45,000 for the program.

And MileOne has committed to further giving for those times when Road to Recovery volunteers are not available, according to Pemberton.

“We have a supplemental program called Travel to Treatment with MileOne. Anytime a volunteer isn’t available they call that hotline and we put them in a cab or an Uber or a Lyft and we pay for the fee there and back,” she said. “We did 5,000 rides last year.”

And now that she has new wheels, helping out with transporting cancer patients to and from treatment is something Miller is seriously thinking about as well.

“I only work two days a week, so I would like to see if I can volunteer and take somebody that needs help, now that I have a dependable ride and they can actually fit in the car,” she said. “It’s one of those things: you have to pay it forward.”

Kathy Miller of Arbutus, winner of the Ameican Cancer Society car raffle, tries out the drivers seat of her new automobile in the showroom of Heritage Honda in Westminster on Friday, Feb. 7. The vehicle, a 2019 Honda CRV-EX, was donated by MileOne Autogroup and raffled by the Ameican Cancer Society to raise funds for their Road to Recovery program.
Kathy Miller of Arbutus, winner of the Ameican Cancer Society car raffle, tries out the drivers seat of her new automobile in the showroom of Heritage Honda in Westminster on Friday, Feb. 7. The vehicle, a 2019 Honda CRV-EX, was donated by MileOne Autogroup and raffled by the Ameican Cancer Society to raise funds for their Road to Recovery program. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement