Car dealerships team up for Mt. Diablo schools

February 21, 2011 11:42:44 AM PST
This Presidents Day may be a holiday for school kids, but 14 Concord car dealerships are working for kids in the Mt. Diablo School District to help save music and athletic programs.

When you drive down Concord Boulevard in Concord, you see a Nissan dealership, a Honda dealership, a Chevy dealership and an Acura dealership. They are competitors and that is not going to chance, but when it comes to helping local schools, they stand united, at least for a few days.

Roger Lanham has been looking at a new Nissan Rogue. He has been at the dealership multiple times to look at it, so it seems as though he is leaning towards buying. It does not hurt that some of the money from his purchase goes to a cause near and dear to him.

"Right now, is a very difficult time for all the schools, and Mt. Diablo's been especially hard hit over the years here," he told ABC7. "I have a granddaughter in school right now and my two sons went to school here in Concord, and it's fantastic.

When the managers of the 14 dealerships in Concord got together recently, the idea of helping the Mt. Diablo School District was a no-brainer.

"Well, I think it's good to support our local area, our local school districts," said Laura Fernandez of Dirito Bros. Nissan. "They've been on the new a lot lately, so we need to do whatever we can to raise money for the schools.

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District needs the money. It recently voted to close two schools and will soon decide on a third one to close. The best case scenario for the district is that come next year, it will only be $11 million in the red. The community knows this car dealerships' generosity, offering $20 to the district per car sold, will not fix the problem, but members are responding to the offer.

"We've sold about 30 cars since the program started, which was the tenth of the month," said Ken Brizendine, general manager at Concord Honda. "Until now, we have a total of 71. I checked my records for last year. That's an additional 18 cars more than what we normally sold."

When it is all said and done, somewhere between $25,000 and $35,000 will be raised for the music and sports programs at a district that desperately needs it.


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