By Cliff Clark
Sentinel & Enterprise
LUNENBURG — The annual North End Subaru “Share the Love” sales event resulted in a donation of more than $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lunenburg, Fitchburg and Leominster on Saturday morning.
“This is going to make a huge difference to the children in both clubs,” said Michelle Belleza, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg, after accepting the donation of $10,877 from Subaru.
The donation will be equally divided between the two Boys & Girls Clubs that serve Lunenburg, Leominster and Fitchburg children.
“We didn’t ask for this. They approached us, which I think makes it even more important that they recognize the value of what the club does for children,” said Belleza.
Martin Babineau, general manager of North End Subaru, said the reason the Boys & Girls Clubs were chosen was because the dealership wanted to help out the area’s children.
“We wanted to do something for the kids and do something that was important for a lot of people. And it was a fun thing to do,” said Babineau.
Donata Martin, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg, said the donation will make a difference.
“It’s going to help us with many of the programs we offer, and it will help with our expanded science programs and field trips,” said Martin, adding that one field trip could involve a visit to North End Subaru, located at 757 Chase Road, for students to learn more about automotive technology.
Joe Altavilla, the district sales manager for Suburu of New England, said the “Share the Love” sales event was started seven years ago when customers were given the option, after making a new vehicle purchase, to designate $250 to one of five national charities, like the Make a Wish Foundation, Meal on Wheels or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
In 2013, Subaru changed the program to allow individual dealerships to designate a local charity for the donation, said Altavilla.
As customers would finalize their purchase of a new vehicle, Babineau said, the sales staff explained the sales event, which began on Nov. 20 and ended on Dec. 31, and offered those customers to option of choosing one of the five national charities or the local organization.
Babineau said his sales team did an outstanding job of explaining the program to their customers and the benefits of the charitable donation.
“Customers got excited about it and allowed us to help them make a difference in the lives of the kids at the club,” said Babineau.
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