Butler Auto’s Guy Fowler Wows with Chairs at FurnARTure

Way back in July when we first invited you to FurnARTure, the signature event to benefit The Studio at Living Opportunities, we had no idea our very own body shop manager was putting his skills to work on a couple pieces to be auctioned off at the event. It was only after the Adirondack chairs were built and about to be painted that Guy Fowler let us in on the action. With a tiny bit of help in the form of a stencil Guy created a pair of lovely his-n-hers chairs featuring a tree theme. The coolest part is that he used automotive paint (it’s hard to see how beautifully they shine!) so this yard décor is truly weather resistant!

On a side note, the event yesterday went fabulously. The nearly-sold-out crowd went wild for an assortment of furniture and wall décor, all to raise funds to keep The Studio open. Butler Automotive Group is beyond proud to support Living Opportunities and The Studio, and invite you to learn more and get involved.

Butler Ford Employees Come Through in Peanut Butter Drive

pbutterYou may have heard about the peanut butter drive we at Butler Ford held last week. The event was part of a Northwest Ford Dealers Advertising Association program that paired dealerships up with local food banks to bring in one of the most coveted nonperishable food items out there. Before promoting the drive to the public we discussed ways to inspire Butler employees to get in on the fun and came up with the idea of holding a competition between the sales, service, and office staff. The winning group would get some kind of a party.

pb serviceBoy, did people come through! The service department immediately went looking for outside donations and hit pay-dirt with Cash-n-Carry, Pulver & Leever Real Estate and Grocery Outlet. Just check out the stash Iman showed up with Friday morning! The sales team came through in a big way, too, calling on the folks at Rogue Valley CrossFit. One CrossFit mom even requested that all guests at her child’s birthday party bring peanut butter for her to donate!

Ultimately, we have yet to figure out which department won or even how many pounds of peanut butter we brought it but we know this much: It’s a LOT! Huge thanks to everyone who pitched in! We’re so proud to be part of this community!

Hyundia Focuses on Creating Social Responsibility

Hyundai teams with Habitat for Humanity.

Hyundai teams with Habitat for Humanity.

With the quality of Hyundai vehicles improving exponentially over the past decade you might think there wouldn’t be many resources available to dedicate in other areas.  But Hyundai’s focused on much more than delivering a great product.  The company believes in creating social responsibility and, as such, is involved in boosting the health and education of America’s youth, creating communities through volunteerism, and offering assistance wherever it can.  Whether by supporting programs that offer scholarships, setting up math labs in California, or providing kids in Chicago with coats, Hyundai’s there to help youngsters learn, grow and develop.  The Hope on Wheels Foundation exists solely to raise awareness of, and money to fight, childhood cancer.  Hyundai pitches in with Habitat for Humanity to help families who otherwise wouldn’t own a house to realize the American dream.  And when Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast Hyundai donated half a million dollars in relief funds.  With such an interest in making the world a better place it only makes sense that Hyundai’s focus on quality would be reflected in its product.

Earn a High Five for Hyundai Hope on Wheels

As part of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September Butler Hyundai is joining Hyundai dealers across the country in inviting you to help us raise awareness and donations to help fund research for a cure. The efforts fall under Hyundai’s “Hope on Wheels” foundation. The nonprofit was established in 1998 when a handful of New England-area Hyundai dealers banded together to raise money for the Jimmy Fund at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (for more information on Hope on Wheels visit http://tinyurl.com/9lp9saj). You can take part in any of the more than 40 events going on around the country. Or you can just stop by Butler Hyundai at 5000 Crater Lake Ave. in Medford and donate! For every $5 we take in we’ll add another “high five” to the Hyundai Elantra sitting pretty in the showroom. Our goal is to completely cover the car. The goal of Hope on Wheels is to find a cure for pediatric cancer. Help us reach both goals!

Other Hyundai Hope On Wheels links:

https://www.facebook.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels
http://www.hyundaihopeonwheels.org

My Uncomfortable Relationship with Ashland Panhandlers

panhandler and sign that reads "Hard times, need help, anything helps."

Courtesy: KVAL.com

Every morning on the way to work at Butler Auto I pass at least two panhandlers upon entry into Ashland.  They are usually male; One a young man, the other much older, both appearing to have full physical capacity.  Both dress in jeans and sweatshirt – possibly dirty, maybe just worn –  and hold pieces of cardboard upon which requests for help, presumably financial, are handwritten.

As both men set up camp near the end of Interstate 5’s exit 19 off-ramp I’ve come to think of them as “greeters”.  I’ve been making the drive to Ashland for a year and a half now which means both gentlemen have become a daily presence in my life.  And that’s where the dilemma kicks in.  By nature, I am compassionate to a fault.  My philosophy has always been that it’s not my place to judge a person’s circumstances, but rather to help a fellow human being whenever possible.  So, in my travels throughout the Rogue Valley I have often shared dollar bills, spare change, bagged carrots or apple slices, and even heart-shaped sugar cookies baked as Valentines for co-workers (in the winter months I carry spare pairs of stretchy knit mittens as my heart breaks at the thought of someone being cold).  At least one of the Ashland “greeters” has benefited from such offerings on more than one occasion.

But, when does the giving become enough?  Undoubtedly by now, the “greeters” are as familiar with my face as I am with theirs.  On my part, that familiarity leads to uncomfortable feelings of guilt each time I pass by without offering some sort of help.  And the same thoughts echo in my head:  Am I wrong to deny them some sort of assistance?  What is my responsibility?  What is theirs?  Do I smile and acknowledge them?  What if they don’t smile back?  What if they’re offended?  I so want to help… but, after seeing these guys day after day for nearly 19 months I have to ponder… what’s keeping them from helping themselves?  At what point in my giving, I wonder, do I become a sucker?

I don’t think I’m alone in having such conflicted emotions.  I believe most people are at heart generous and compassionate, and that many of us experience the emotional tension created by the desire to respond to a genuine need for help contrasted by the very real possibility of being scammed.  Nobody wants to be taken for a ride.

Ultimately, though, I don’t see a resolution to this dilemma.  I imagine my brief moment of daily emotional discomfort will continue as long as my commute follows the current route.  And I’ll probably give in to the urge to toss a few quarters or piece of fruit to my “greeters” every once in a while, if only to quiet my mind.  There are those who would say we should deny all forms of assistance to panhandlers for to give in to their requests is only to enable them.  But, I can’t help but return to my value against judging.  What do I know of another’s life circumstances?  Who am I to decide who’s worthy of charity?  When all is said and done, the bottom line is this: If the alternative is to risk failing to help another human being in the event of true need, I’d rather be a sucker.