Sweeney, Operation Santa

Sweeney Dealership Raises $15k For United Way

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Sluggish supply chains in the automotive industry couldn’t put the brakes on Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC’s effort to raise more than $15,000 for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley last year.

The initiative was part of the Operation Santa program that the dealership engages in every December, says Alexa Sweeney Blackann, president of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC.

“We’re very enthusiastic about this donation,” Blackann says.  The dealership raised a total of $15,040 for the United Way.

The Sweeney dealership donated $50 for every new Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicle sold during the month of December to the United Way, Blackann says. However, because of supply-chain issues affecting new inventory across the entire auto industry, she said that there were concerns about raising enough dollars this year.

Blackann says the solution was for the dealership to add a dollar-for-dollar match to those who contributed online to the Operation Santa campaign through Sweeney, she says.

Blackann says Sweeney has participated in the program since 2013 and donates to a different cause each year.  In 2021, the dealership selected United Way as its beneficiary.

“Sweeney’s a great partner,” says Bob Hannon, president of the United Way of Youngstown. “They really understand the impact we’re trying to make in the community.”

Hannon says the money will go to support initiatives such as the United Way’s food distribution program, held the third Saturday of every month.

“What we’re most appreciative about Sweeney is that they really give at a corporate level, their employees give, they donate their time, they come to our food distributions,” Hannon says. “Thanks to Alexa and the entire Sweeney family for their continuing support of United Way.”

Hannon describes overall support for United Way during 2021 as “volatile,” since corporate and workplace giving that the organization generally relies on was impacted by COVID-19.

However, the campaigns were still successful since other funding sources from the federal government and the state helped offset losses from the private sector, Hannon says.

Blackann says Sweeney supported other events this holiday season, including the Flea on Phelps, the ice rink at the Southern Park Mall, and other charitable efforts such as Project MKC, which provides help for children in the community.

“It’s really the community and team that embraces this, gets behind it, and really makes it a success,” Blackann says.

Pictured at top: Alexa Sweeney Blackann, President, Sweeney Cevrolet Buick GMC; Derek Snyder, Executive Manager/Partner, Sweeney Cevrolet Buick GMC; Bobby Stackhouse, Executive Manager/Partner, Sweeney Cevrolet Buick GMC; Bob Hannon – President, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

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