Boardman Subaru Continues to Share the Love With Donations
BOARDMAN, Ohio – Boardman Subaru presented $50,000 in donations to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley on Tuesday as part of this year’s Subaru Share the Love campaign.
Subaru and its dealers have hosted the event over the past 15 years and collectively have raised over $256 million nationwide for charities.
During the campaign, Subaru dealerships donate $250 for every new vehicle sold. Boardman Subaru added an extra $50 to each donation.
In addition to the brand’s donation to 2,100 hometown charities, the company donates to four national charities: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels and the National Park Foundation.
Rob Fellman, owner of Boardman Subaru, said his dealership has been participating in the campaign since its launch in 2008. In 2013, they it was able to start incorporating the local charities.
“It’s during the holiday season, [and] anyone that buys or leases a new Subaru, we donate $300 to one of five charities,” he said.
Donations were taken between Nov. 22 and Jan. 3, and Fellman said about 200 local residents participated.
While there are options for customers’ donations to go toward the national charities, Fellman said there is a particular draw to choose local.
“Akron Children’s was our first charity that we have partnered up with, and they have some core beliefs that we share,” he says. “No child would ever be refused treatment based on ability to pay. Every child is treated as if it were their own, and we really connect with that.”
Paul Olivier, vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, said the hospital is proud to be chosen once again as a donation recipient.
“It’s been several years,” he says. “We are up to about $300,000 in total donations from the Share the Love campaign, which is fabulous for us.”
Olivier said a lot of patients’ families don’t have the resources to cover costs, and the money will help to mitigate this hardship.
“Every dollar that is raised in the Valley stays in the Valley,” he said.
Olivier said the money goes directly to patient care in the Valley and will help fund uninsured patients’ bills, salaries, supplies, program expansion and more.
“It really means a lot to us that the community thinks that much of us that they are willing to include us in their charitable giving,” he said.
Additionally, Fellman said he finds Second Harvest Food Bank fills a great need in the area.
Mike Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank, said this is the third year the organization has been chosen as a recipient for the Subaru campaign.
“The money is going to be well-used to bring more food to people in the Valley who are in need,” he said.
After Tuesday’s $20,000 check presentation, the organization has received about $60,000 from the event.
“With inflation being what it is, especially senior citizens are getting hit with higher costs for food,” he said. “This has helped those folks. For the first time in many of their lives, they are telling us that they had to go to a food pantry because of inflation.”
For every dollar raised, the food bank is able to provide four meals.
Iberis said he is grateful for the continued support.
“[Fellman] is one of the Valley’s philanthropists – someone who really cares,” he says. “He cares about people not only in his business and making sure the people that are buying his cars are satisfied, but just caring about the entire community.”
Local artist Ray Simon surprised Fellman with a “legacy” painting to commemorate the work he has done for the community over the years.
“The painting tells a beautiful story,” Simon said.
The painting includes a portrait of Fellman above the building and a 2004 ribbon cutting photo of when the dealership was first opened as a used car dealership, Boardman Imports. In the top left are hands holding a heart-shaped globe beside the Subaru, which Simon said represents the word “unite.”
“It goes back to Greek astrology – the six sisters,” Simon said. “They are the caregivers of that system. That’s why there are six stars. … It goes beyond just sharing the love.”
As a local community member for about 60 years, Fellman said he is happy to be able to give back. Over the years, he said his company has given about $500,000 through the event, and he doesn’t plan to stop.
“As long as we are here, we are going to be sharing the love,” he said.
Pictured at top: From left, Mike Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley; John Stanko, Boardman Subaru vice president; Rob Fellman, owner of Boardman Subaru; Robbie Fellman, fixed operations manager at Boardman Subaru; Paul Olivier, vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley; and Charlotte Diss, associate major gifts officer at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.