Awards & Events

Cruze Giveaway Boosts United Ways

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio — On her way to Greenwood Chevrolet, where she was one of 10 finalists with a chance to win a new car, Marlene Lewis, as fate would have it, got into a car accident.

A Greenwood service department employee was quickly dispatched to pick up Lewis and her party, who were all uninjured, and they arrived to loud applause. So when it was her turn to sit inside the red Chevy Cruze and turn the key, anticipation was high, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Lewis’ key, like those of the finalists before her, wouldn’t turn.

It was a few finalists later, when the key of Cathy Grizinski of Boardman brought the engine to life, that the loudest round of applause was heard.

“I’ve decided to keep the car because it is made in our area and it is a good solid car,” she told the crowd, moments after winning the ninth annual Cruze or Cash Giveaway sponsored by Greenwood Chevrolet.

Every year the dealership picks 10 finalists who have donated at least $260 to the annual campaign of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley or the United Way of Trumbull County. The winner has the choice of keeping the new car or taking home $15,000.

Ginny Pasha, president of the Trumbull United Way, says the giveaway has been a big boost to their fundraising efforts.

“The donors who were previously giving at a lower level are encouraged by this incentive to increase their pledge. And it’s just so much fun to think you have a one in 10 chance of winning a Cruze or $15,000 thanks to Greenwood,” she said.

Several workers from GM Lordstown, where they build the Chevy Cruze, were on hand to see one of their products given away for perhaps the last time. GM plans to end production at the Lordstown complex in March. Before the giveaway, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley President Bob Hannon, took the opportunity to thank the workers in attendance.

“Thanks to all of you that make the Cruze and all that you’ve done through the years,” he said. “What you’ve done for United Way is unbelievable. We could thank you from now till the next 50 years and we’ll never be able to say ‘thank you’ enough.”

Hannon concluded by encouraging the Lordstown workers to “continue the fight. Don’t give up. Keep fighting.”

Greenwood Chevrolet owner Greg Greenwood, said the work both United Ways do in the Valley, particularly when it comes to childhood education, make them an integral part of the community.

“It’s the common good. Everybody benefits when we take care of our kids. Everybody benefits when basic health and human services are met and they do it the best,” he said.

And Grizinski, who says she’s been giving to United Way for more than 30 years, couldn’t agree more.

“It helps over 30 different agencies in the community to help those of us who are less fortunate and that’s very important,” she said. “And the funds stay here to help our people. I can’t ask for anything better than that.”

Pictured: Cathy Grizinski of Boardman won the ninth annual Cruze or Cash Giveaway sponsored by Greenwood Chevrolet.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.