Talk about being in the spirit of giving.
Several Lee’s Summit businesses, a social service group, clergy and individuals have banded together this holiday season to present a local woman with what could possibly be the surprise of a lifetime: a donated refurbished van, complete with new tires, brakes and the like and six months of insurance already paid for.
Mike Stanton, owner of Sinclair of Lee’s Summit, a used auto sales lot at 520 S.W. Third St., is spearheading the surprise, but he is not without help. Sinclair, Affordable Auto Clinic, Designs by Renee and several other local businesses and the Pillars of Truth Ministries at 611 S.W. Third St. pooled their resources together to present the van to a single mother with four children so she can get to work.
The idea sprang from Stanton’s previous work at a car dealership in Oklahoma.
“I used to work with a dealership out of Oklahoma and (the owner’s) wife was real big on giving a van away at Christmas,” Stanton said. “I was there when they gave a van away and it’s just a magical moment because this family doesn’t know they are going to get it. They come in and kids who probably haven’t had a Christmas for a long time see a van full of toys and it just gives you a magical type of feeling for Christmas.”
Susan Coffman of Lee’s Summit Cares and Kylie Ewing of the Pro Deo Youth Center in Lee’s Summit, assisted in selecting the family, who doesn’t yet know of the van and gifts coming their way.
Stanton said with the work done on the 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan between Sinclair and Affordable Auto Clinic the van good probably sale for $2,500. Affordable Auto Clinic provided body work on the vehicle to remove a few rusted parts and replace a broken window.
This is the first time Stanton and Sinclair of Lee’s Summit has sponsored a vehicle giveaway for Christmas.
“Last year we had a little Christmas party (at Sinclair) and we had a good little band and all this and it was all right,” Stanton said. “You get to the point where you are like, ‘what can I do for the community?’ It’s time to give back.”
The project is still open to the community and the goal is to fill the van with clothes, toys, food and other needed items for the family, who will be presented with the van and goods at 2 p.m. Dec. 23 at Sinclair. Residents interested in donating to the cause can continue to do so by dropping off donations at the service station.
“I feel real good,” Doug Sell, owner of Affordable Auto Clinic, said. “As a Rotarian, we are always trying to give back to the community and help people that are in need. It’s just a part of being a good citizen in Lee’s Summit.”
KFKF-FM (94.1) radio is also on tap for the presentation, a country western band will play live Christmas music at a pizza party sponsored by Sarpino’s Pizza and Stanton himself is rumored to play the role of Santa Claus.
“We’ve got everything laid out,” Stanton said. “Our sponsors (which also include Paulson Insurance Agency at 622 S.W. Third St. and Lee’s Summit Roofing, among others) have been huge.”