Archive for the ‘Van Horn Gives’ Category
The start of a new school year is exciting and hopeful for most families; but for others, it can be an anxious time. The expense of providing required school supplies is real, and sometimes overwhelming.
This year, the Van Horn Automotive Group organized a ‘Stuff the Trunk’ event; encouraging both employees and customers to donate school supplies to help area families start the year right. Each Van Horn dealership popped the trunk of a showroom vehicle, and invited people to stuff it full of notebooks, backpacks, markers, glue sticks and other necessary school items.
From mid-July to mid-August, fifteen Van Horn dealership locations and supporting departments were able to collect over 2,400 supplies for area students. The supplies were then provided to local community organizations for distribution, including: Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, United Way, Family Promise and a few individual schools.
“We are so appreciative of the efforts from our employee owners and our generous customers to make this event such a success,” said Ryan Thiel, Van Horn Automotive Group Marketing Director and ESOP Committee Member. Teresa Van Horn, co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive group added, “We have over 550 employees in our organization, and it’s very satisfying to see them dig a little deeper during a time when they are already spending their wages on school supplies and clothes for their own families.”
Golfer hits hole-in-one to win a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro
Kohler, WI, August 19, 2019 – What started out as a beautiful morning for golf at Blackwolf Run, became a magical day for Cambellsport resident Craig Hatch, who aced the 17th hole at Blackwolf Run’s River Course to win a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro from Van Horn Automotive Group.
Hatch, a brain cancer survivor himself, was participating in the annual Make-A-Wish Wisconsin golf outing, sponsored by Sargento and Johnsonville. Van Horn Automotive was the sponsor of two, hole-in-one contests at Blackwolf Run. With an 8 iron in hand, Hatch approached the 154-yard 17th hole of the River Course for his first tee shot of the day during a shotgun start. Hatch stated, “I didn’t think the ball actually went in! It was my first shot of the day and I was in disbelief. As the witness walked to the hole to verify that it was in there, I ran next to her because I couldn’t believe it. It was my first hole in one and my first time golfing in the Make-A-Wish golf outing.”
“This is my second time volunteering as a hole-in-one contest witness for the Make-A-Wish golf outing, said Sunday Strong, Executive Assistant at Van Horn Automotive Group. “It’s such a fun day for everyone. I’ve seen many golfers get close, but never make a hole-in-one; so to see Mr. Hatch achieve this feat was truly an exciting experience.” Teresa Van Horn, Co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive Group added, “We enjoy sponsoring great causes like Make-A-Wish alongside other area businesses to thank our communities for their patronage.”
About Make-A-Wish Foundation
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and nearly 40,000 volunteers across the U.S., grant a wish every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the country. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 315,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,600 in 2018 alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit www.wish.org.
About Van Horn Automotive Group
Van Horn Automotive Group, Inc. is a family born, employee owned automotive group with headquarters in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Founded in 1966 by Joe Van Horn as a single Chevrolet dealership, and purchased by his children: Chuck, Teresa and JP Van Horn, Van Horn Automotive Group has grown to include 16 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 580 people throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. For employment opportunities visit the Careers page at www.vhcars.com.
Sheboygan South High School continues to demonstrate their dedication to teaching students about automotive and electronic mechanics. Their course titled: Automotive and Electro Mechanics, is a year-long introductory course that provides training for: tools, equipment, operation, maintenance, and most importantly safety. Students also learn about proper procedures for diagnostics and service.
Students receive hands-on practice
Students practice their skills on a variety of vehicles as well as industrial equipment and are taught procedures as well as electro-mechanical skills that can be applied to a career in automotive or manufacturing. Sheboygan South High School is currently looking at the possibility of receiving credits towards Lakeshore Technical College in automotive electricity.
Van Horn Automotive Group supports South High’s initiative to educate young students on automotive and electro-mechanical skills. “When South High reached out to us regarding donating a vehicle: it was a no brainer,” said Teresa Van Horn, Co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive. “We want to help empower our youth and support the community with a skilled workforce.” When asked about what the 2007 Jeep Commander could do for Sheboygan South High School, Collin Kachel, a teacher at the school, said that “The vehicle will be used as a training aid for the Automotive Mechanics class for the next 5 years. We greatly appreciate the donation as it is the first time our program has been able to utilize a clean, modern vehicle for training.”
This past Memorial Day, Van Horn Automotive Group, once again, took a community-driven approach to customer test drives. For every test drive taken May 24, 25, and 27, 2019, Van Horn offered to donate $20 to Children of Fallen Patriots, a foundation that provides college scholarships and education to children who have lost a parent serving in the military. “This is our second year running this event,’ said Marketing Director Ryan Thiel. “Our goal was to beat last year’s mark, and we were very happy to have achieved a 35% increase. We had great feedback from participants; even those not intending to buy a car that day. It’s important that we keep focus on those who gave everything for our freedom and their families.”
TEST DRIVE RESULTS
After the event, the totals were combined from all 15 Van Horn locations throughout Wisconsin and Iowa equaling 302 test drives and made a total donation of $6,500. “We believe that one of the best ways we can honor our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is to invest in the future of those they loved most in the world – their children,” said David Kim, co-founder and CEO of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Since 2002, Fallen Patriots has awarded more than $30 million and assisted 1,417 students earn their college degree. “A college education is the key to a bright future for any child and the generosity of our supporters is making those hopes and dreams come true.”
THANKS FOR DRIVING
The Van Horn family would like to thank everyone that came out to test drive a vehicle. Whether it was a car someone was possibly interested in purchasing, or a ride in a convertible, we greatly appreciate everyone that came out.
This race season we all have a driver to cheer for and a great cause. Van Horn’s own Brian Wieland will be getting back behind the wheel because of his love for the sport, but also because of his passion for recovery. Brian will be racing in the Plymouth Dirt Track Series in the B Mod division. All winnings will be donated to Samaritan’s Hand – a drug and alcohol clinic and sober house in Sheboygan County. “Recovery is a personal interest of mine, and I want to continue to support healing in our community, says Brian Wieland, Used Car Director for Van Horn Automotive Group. “I love Sheboygan County and I’m always inspired by the great businesses that provide the community with an amazing place to live, work and grow. It is my mission to continue to help make a difference.”
Brian’s first race will be Saturday, April 27 in Plymouth at the Sheboygan County Fair Park. The full 2019 Plymouth Dirt Track Racing Schedule can be found here http://www.plymouthdtr.com/schedule.html.
In addition to racing, Brian’s schedule includes 2 brat frys, Saturday night pit sessions, 5 Road America Race displays and a final year-end event. Any questions regarding sponsorship opportunities or events, contact Brian Wieland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every February, Van Horn Automotive Group Gives hosts the Pay-It-Forward moment at the Sheboygan County Chamber of Champions Gala. The Pay-It-Forward moment a random drawing, allows a Gala guest to select an organization close to them for a $1,000 donation made by Van Horn Automotive Group. Past Pay-It-Forward winners are Meals on Wheels, Sheboygan County Cancer Care, RCS Empowers, and Sharon S. Richardson Foundation.
This year, Joe Widder from BW Papersystems in Sheboygan was the lucky recipient of this award. He chose Great Marriages for the donation, since his parents are long time mentors for the organization.
Pictured are Van Horn Automotive Group Co-CEO, Teresa Van Horn, Joe Widder of BW Papersystems, and Crystal Dekker, Van Horn Automotive Group Public Relations Coordinator
Executive Director, Jocelyn Medrek, of Great Marriages stated “The mission of Great Marriages is to prepare and strengthen relationships, enrich marriages, and keep families together. Singles, dating, engaged or married couples are welcome to attend Great Marriages’ events! We are here to help you learn valuable relationship skills so we can be a community of vibrant, strong, joyful, life-long marriages. Our children need to know what a healthy marriage looks like so they can have successful relationships in their future.”
Medrek and Great Marriages associate, Winter Kohler, met with Ryan Thiel and Teresa Van Horn of Van Horn Automotive Group to present Great Marriages with the $1,000 donation. Also present for the check presentation was Pay-It-Forward winner, Joe Widder.
From left to right: Jocelyn Medrek, Ryan Thiel, Joe Widder, Teresa Van Horn, Winter Kohler
Great Marriages accomplishes their mission through couple-to-couple mentoring programs, monthly events, marriage retreats, corporate lunch and learns, and workshops. To view Great Marriages’ upcoming events, please visit www.great-marriages.org/events or call 920.783.6142 for more information.
On September 17, 2018, Van Horn Automotive Group purchased Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships in Sheboygan. In celebration of the new location, Van Horn Nissan Volkswagen of Sheboygan donated $100 from each unit sold in October and November to Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County. Established in 1990, Safe Harbor has provided assistance to individuals in Sheboygan County that have been affected by sexual assault and domestic abuse in their time of crisis.
Van Horn Nissan Volkswagen sold a total of 101 units in their first two months of operation, totaling a donation of $10,100. “This unique kind of fundraising promotion is a great way to increase awareness of our services. The funds we received help us provide the critical direct services victims of abuse need. Services include: emergency hotline, shelter services and supplies to provide immediate safety, victim accompaniment which helps victims navigate systems and other community services that can help people move toward a life without violence,” said Laura Roenitz, Executive Director of Safe Harbor.
Leading into the Holidays, Van Horn Automotive Group also collected items through a supply drive involving all Van Horn dealerships throughout Sheboygan County. The monetary donation, as well as the supplies, were presented to Roenitz and Safe Harbor on December 14, 2018. Supply drive items included: paper products, towels, cleaning supplies, and laundry necessities – items the shelter can always use.
Van Horn Automotive Group is proud to support the communities in which they operate, and will continue to give back time and talents to make them stronger.
If you or someone you know is in need of services provided by Safe Harbor, please call their helpline at 920-452-7640.
Memorial Day Test Drive for Charity
On Memorial Day weekend, Van Horn Automotive Group took a different approach to customer test drives. For every test drive taken May 25, 26, and 28, 2018, Van Horn offered to donate $20 to Children of Fallen Patriots, a foundation that provides college scholarships and education to children who have lost a parent serving in the military. “We’ve been open on Memorial Day in the past,” said Marketing Director Ryan Thiel, “but we wanted to move away from a typical sales event and keep the focus on those who gave everything for our freedom and their families.”
Test Drive Results
After the event, the totals were combined from all 12 Van Horn locations throughout Wisconsin and Iowa equaling 221 test drives and a donation of $4,420. “We believe one of the best ways we can honor our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is to invest in the future of those they loved most in the world: their children,” notes David Kim, co-founder and CEO of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. “Through their Memorial Day campaign, Van Horn Automotive Group has generated awareness for our mission and raised over $4,400 in funding for our Gold Star scholars. We couldn’t be more honored to receive Van Horn Automotive Group’s support.”
Thanks for Driving
Lastly, the Van Horn family would like to thank everyone that came out to test drive a vehicle. Whether it was a car someone was possibly interested in purchasing or a ride in a convertible, we appreciate everyone that came out.