BUFFALO, NY – Earlier today at the 2013 Buffalo Auto Show, three local nonprofit organizations - Buffalo Museum of Science, Cantalician Center for Learning, and The Family Help Center - joined a list of more than 68 groups that have received new Ford passenger vans, compliments of the Western New York Ford Dealers and its Ford Friendship Express program.
“The Ford Friendship Express award ceremony arrives at the perfect time of year,” said Scott Bieler, chairman of the Ford Friendship Express Selection Committee. “Everyone’s coming off of the holiday giving season and looking for the next opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face. Since we began this program almost 20 years ago, that’s been one of our top priorities—to give deserving organizations a reason to smile, along with reliable transportation.”
Buffalo Museum of Science, Cantalician Center for Learning, and The Family Help Center all received the keys to their new Ford vehicles during the opening day of the 2013 Buffalo Auto Show. The recipients were carefully chosen by the Ford Friendship Express Selection Committee, who has been reviewing applications since the Ford Dealers issued the “call” for submissions in November 2012.
“This van comes at a crucial time for our organization,” said Deborah Merrifield, executive director at Family Help Center. “Our previous vehicle was on its last leg and we didn’t think we had the funds to afford something newer. Thanks to the generosity of the Western New York Ford Dealers, the people who rely on us for help will now have peace of mind, knowing that we are able to provide them with this vital service.”
Mark Mortenson, president and CEO from the Buffalo Museum of Science added, “The generosity of the Ford Dealers will allow us to do a better job of introducing a broader audience to all that the Buffalo Museum of Science has to offer through our community outreach programming.”
Since its inception in 1996, the Ford Friendship Express program has donated new vehicles to more than 68 organizations, valued at more than $1.7 million. Past Ford Friendship Express van recipients include: Schiller Park Community Services, Inc., Franciscan Center, The Bristol Home, Homespace Inc., Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northtowns, Computers for Children, Kids Escaping Drugs, SABAH, Meals on Wheels of Buffalo and Erie County, Friends of the Night People, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Camp Good Days & Special Times, Student Union at SUNY at Buffalo, Goodwill Industries of Western New York, Rural Transit Service, American Red Cross, The Buffalo Zoo and many more.
“All of the children at our new academic campus are excited to take their first ride in our new Ford van,” said Terese Scofidio, executive director of Cantalician Center for Learning. “We couldn’t be happier to join the Ford Friendship Express family in bringing our students out into the community.”
About the Western New York Ford Dealers
The Western New York Ford Dealers are part of the Western New York Ford Stores, an advertising cooperative comprised of 31 dealer locations that provides support for Ford vehicle sales and service in the 13 counties of Western New York and Rochester, and three counties in Northern Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit: www.wnyford.com. View and subscribe to news from the WNY Ford Dealers here: http://tinyurl.com/WNYFordNewsroom.