Jim Koons has long performed philanthropic work for Catholic Charities. Each year, Koons of Koons Ford in Falls Church, Va. provides gift cards to homeless people who attend a Thanksgiving and Christmas program for the displaced. He also makes financial contributions to a local Catholic high school, where he and his family attended.
Those are just some of Koons’ philanthropic contributions, and Ford Motor Co. is honoring Koons and five other dealers from around the world for their community service as part of its Ford’s Salute To Dealers awards.
Ford Motor Co. says U.S. Ford and Lincoln dealers “overwhelmingly” gave back to their communities last year, with 30% of respondents giving more than $50,000 per year. Thirty-five percent committed between 10 and 20 hours each month to charitable giving, according to Ford Motor Co.’s annual survey on dealer giving.
The survey coincides with the 20th annual Salute to Dealers awards that took place at NADA Show 2020 over the weekend in Las Vegas.
Thirty percent of survey respondents selected the highest giving category of donating $50,000 or more for the year. Most said they did so to make a difference in their communities and because giving is a part of their dealership tradition.
“Our dealers are valued partners in building trust for and loyalty to the Ford brand with our customers,” said Edsel B. Ford II, who chairs the Salute to Dealers awards program and is a member of the Ford board of directors.
Ford continued, “They are the face of Ford and Lincoln in communities around the world, and today we are happy to applaud their commitment and dedication to building stronger, healthier, more connected communities.”
At this ceremony last year, Edsel Ford II introduced his son, Henry Ford III, as the future host of the Salute To Dealers event.
Dealers give to causes addressing community needs such as children’s charities, the environment, education, healthcare, parks, municipal services and disaster relief efforts.
Seventy-six percent of responding dealers donate to children’s causes. Sixty-seven percent give to education and scholarships, and more than half said veterans causes and municipal services such as police and firefighting efforts were very high on their list of giving.
Ford launched its Salute to Dealers awards in 2001, and this year, Edsel B. Ford II and four other judges selected six winners from nearly 65 nominees globally.
Those nominees represented the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Asia Pacific, Mexico and Central America.
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is also donating $10,000 to a charity of each dealer’s choice.
A painted portrait of each honoree features a montage of the philanthropic and volunteer activities that led to the award. Duplicates of the portraits will join a Salute to Dealers display in the lobby of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
One of those honorees is Koons, and he and his wife Cece donated $2 million to Talbot Hospice. The Eleanor A. Koons Hospice House was designated in his mother’s honor.
In addition, Koons’ contributions to Northwood University helped fund the construction of new on-campus housing.
Ford’s 2019 awards recognize additional dealers for their generosity and commitment to their communities:
Gail Miller is owner and chair of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, which the Larry H. Miller Dealerships in Sandy, Utah, among other business entities. She is one of those honored. At an annual Larry H. Miller Day of Service, employees donate thousands of hours at more than 200 locations helping at-risk youth, families of critically ill children and domestic abuse victims.
She established a diabetes prevention program with the University of Utah through support from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation.
Through that initiative, a wellness bus serves vulnerable populations with free and low-cost screenings for diabetes and other chronic illnesses. It also provides prevention efforts to identify and educate those with pre-diabetes. It includes a four-week curriculum for homeless families at a domestic violence shelter. Two clinical programs have been initiated as a result.
The Gail Miller Resource Center provides beds and a safe environment for homeless men and women needing assistance.
Another honoree is Gregory Daunhauer of Byerly Ford in Louisville, Ky., and his charitable outreach includes donations of time, endowments for tuition assistance and internships provided by his dealership.
Daunhauer and his brothers, David and John, provide financial support and vehicle assistance to residents of Little Sisters of the Poor, which offers no-cost food and lodging for disadvantaged senior citizens.
Daunhauer’s family also supports Shively Area Ministries, a local nonprofit providing assistance to those in poverty and crisis. They serve on the board of directors, and their support includes a financial contribution to construct a food pantry and funding for and volunteering in the pantry.
The family supports Honor Flight Bluegrass, an all-volunteer nonprofit that honors World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. and providing them with a police-escorted tour to each of their respective memorials.
Byerly Ford was a corporate sponsor for last year’s flight.
Pham Ngoc Than of Ben Thanh Ford in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is another honoree, and the entire staff of Ben Thanh Ford traveled to Dalat, in Lam Dong province, to visit an orphanage and donate gifts to orphaned children in the community.
Than and his employees visit children in the affected areas, delivering food and supplies to those impacted by the seasonal flooding. Than also supported an initiative for a local hospital to provide cataract surgery for disadvantaged people.
Additionally, Than’s staff delivered fans, rice and money for the residents of Charity House, home to many community elders nearing the end of their lives.
Another honoree is José Abraao Vinhal of Ford Caminho in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Vinhall and his employees are involved with several initiatives such as the Rebirth Association, which provides care and rehabilitation services for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Vinhal also supports the Association of Parents and Friends of the Exceptionals, which is an organization that helps promote public awareness and social inclusion for the disabled.
Vinhal and his employees have also performed site preparation duties for a local park improvement project, planting flowers and installing umbrellas. They also support neighborhood activities such as parties for disadvantaged children in the community.
Another honoree is André Quakernack of FordStore Autohaus Hagemeier GmbH in Versmold, Germany, who has worked on projects to help ensure the well-being of children.
He works in poverty-stricken Benin in west Africa, where 50% of the population is unable to read or write and unemployment is at 70%.
Quakernack’s work involves an initiative to improve education and nutrition. He has constructed three schools in surrounding villages and provided classrooms and a daily meal for more than 1,000 children.
Every year, he organizes and hosts the International Ford Hagemeier Cup. More than 900 children from around Europe participate in this youth soccer tournament.