Boardman Subaru Shares the Love with $55K in Donations

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Boardman Subaru customers helped the dealership give more than $55,500 to two local charities during the Subaru Share the Love event held over the past holiday season.

Rob Fellman, president of Boardman Subaru, said $325 from every new Subaru purchased or leased between Nov. 16, 2023, and Jan. 2, 2024, was donated to one of the local or national Subaru charities, with customers choosing where they wanted their money to go.

The local charities are Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

Nationally, Subaru of America chose the options of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels America and the National Park Foundation.

Additionally, Boardman Subaru donated $5 from every oil change during the event.

The donations added up, leading to a $32,197 donation to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley and a $23,383 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

“This generosity really helps us to get more food to more people,” said Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest. “We just appreciate the long-time partner that Boardman Subaru has been. It’s been a terrific help.”

Iberis said the Subaru event also brings awareness to Second Harvest’s mission, which does not end after the holidays but persists year-round.

“Summertime is a slow time. People are getting ready for vacation, and [giving] is not their focus,” Iberis said, adding that the need for food is growing along with inflation as some struggle to overcome a rise in the price of their groceries and pharmacy necessities.

And the 160 food banks serving their local communities through Second Harvest are seeing an influx of need, especially among seniors – some who are reaching out for the first time.

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. If you need something, someone is going to help you,” Iberis said. “That’s what we do here.”

Paul N. Olivier, vice president of Mahoning Valley Enterprises for Akron Children’s Hospital, said Subaru has been supporting the hospital for years. The money raised will help cover expenses such as doctors, nurses, technicians and supplies.

“All the money that is raised in the Valley stays in the Valley,” Olivier said, adding Akron Children’s Hospital does not turn any children away regardless of ability to pay. 

“We can’t do the things that we do without this kind of support,” Olivier said, adding more than 38,000 children needed the local Akron Children’s Hospital emergency room last year. “They are all better now thanks to the support that Mr. Fellman and his staff have done and the community have done, so we really appreciate your support.”

Akron Children’s Hospital serves children of all ages with chronic conditions. 

“I think that’s why people give, because we’re here in the Valley and we’re taking care of the Valley’s kids. It’s a privilege for us to take care of somebody else’s children,” Olivier said.

Fellman said Subaru has supported Akron Children’s Hospital since it came to the Valley and began teaming up with Second Harvest four years ago. Fellman said the local dealership has donated nearly $400,000 since it began participating in the Share the Love event.

“It’s not a game or a gimmick,” Fellman said. “It’s not in lieu of any type of rebate or incentive. It’s truly a [donation] that is given to one of six worthwhile charities.”

Fellman said he and the dealership’s customers appreciate the work done by Akron Children’s and Second Harvest.

“Those two charities are kind of special to me, and I’m glad I am able to be a part of it and to donate to the two charities that I find really worthwhile,” Fellman said, adding by their decisions, customers must agree with him that these two charities are special and doing great work in the Valley. 

Boardman Subaru employees often give back by volunteering with Second Harvest and the local Meals on Wheels, Fellman said.

Pictured at top: From left are John Stanko, vice president of Boardman Subaru; Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley; Rob Fellman, president of Boardman Subaru; Paul Olivier, vice president of Mahoning Valley Enterprises for Akron Children’s Hospital; and Robbie Fellman, director of fixed operations at Boardman Subaru.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.