#1 Cochran Presents $31,500 Check to United Way

BOARDMAN, Ohio – #1 Cochran Chevrolet and Buick GMC on Wednesday continued a longstanding partnership between the dealerships and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

The dealerships, formerly owned by the Sweeney family, presented a $31,500 check to United Way as part of 2023’s Operation Santa campaign. From mid-November through December 2023, #1 Cochran pledged to donate $50 from the sale of every new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle to the United Way to support the organization’s Care Closet at Boardman Center Intermediate School.

“What’s impactful and special about this is not only does it go back and supports our local community, it involves them,” said Derek Snyder, Ohio platform director at #1 Cochran. “Every one of these purchasers are from our town, and it’s going back to our people.”

Bob Hannon, president of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, said #1 Cochran is committed to carrying on a long tradition with the organization that started decades ago with the Sweeney family.

“The partnership with United Way and Sweeney, now Cochran, really has gone on for the existence of United Way and as long as Sweeney’s been here,” Hannon said. The Mahoning Valley chapter of the United Way was established in 1919.

In January 2023, the Sweeney family sold its Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealerships to Pittsburgh-based #1 Cochran, which has continued to support local community initiatives such as Operation Santa.

Hannon said Care Closet helps provide students with basic necessities such as hygiene products, clothes and food. “We have found these to be needed in the community, needed in the schools, but also received very well by the teachers.”

The #1 Cochran dealerships also set a new all-time record in 2023 for its employee pledges to the United Way, totaling $35,000.

“The partnership with Cochran is huge for us,” Hannon said. “It’s critical. Corporate sponsorships and corporate partnerships are really the lifeline of United Way and what we do in the community.”

Hannon said the organization is seeing more demand from students who need resources beyond food. “Hygiene products – toothbrushes, toothpaste – essentials that maybe you wouldn’t think they would need.”

As such, United Way has expanded its local Care Closet sites each year, Hannon said. “We were at six last year. We’re now up to eight, and that expansion will continue,” he said. “Unfortunately, the need does continue to grow.” 

Pictured at top: From left, Tina Chance and Bob Hannon of United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning County; Derek Snyder of #1 Cochran; and Roxanne Sebest of United Way display this year’s Operation Santa donation to United Way.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.