Pat’s CARSTAR of Plover donated a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan to Stephanie Dake and her family Tuesday, December 22, extending the business’s Recycled Rides tradition into its eighth year. This year, the company also donated more than $1,500 to the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County.
Pat Arnold, Kempen’s uncle and former owner of Pat’s CARSTAR, took the lead in finding the vehicle and organizing the repairs for the Recycled Rides program. To find a family in need, Pat’s CARSTAR partners with CAP Services, a local private, nonprofit organization.
Stephanie Dake’s family was chosen from among several applicants. Dake has three children, Riley, 8; Christopher, 9, Rhiley, 8, and Clint, 3. Her boyfriend Dan also has two children Cole, 13, and Kaylee, 12.
Dake described her former vehicle as a “death trap,” with windows that didn’t roll up completely and doors that didn’t open from the inside. With her starting a new job, Dake needed a safe and reliable vehicle for getting to work, school, and other everyday activities. The family is also looking forward to being able to take summer camping trips to state parks.
Pat’s CARSTAR purchased the minivan from Mark Toyota in Plover, who donated the mechanical work to ensure the vehicle would be in good working order for the family. Gandrud Chrysler in Green Bay donated around $2,500 worth of replacement parts, BASF donated the paint, and Pat’s CARSTAR technicians donated time to do the bodywork and repaint the vehicle.
In addition to the minivan, Pat’s CARSTAR employees donated a gas card to the family. Pat and Sandy Arnold also bought gifts for the family that were waiting in their new van.
Pat’s CARSTAR’s vehicle donation tradition began with the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) Recycled Rides program. Recycled Rides, launched in 2007, is a nationwide awareness program where collision repair members of the NABC repair and donate used vehicles to families in need in their communities.
The Boys and Girls Club donation included over $1,000 raised from a brat fry held over the summer and an additional $500 gift in honor of the late Charlie Fernandez, who worked with Pat’s CARSTAR through the Gateway Return Program to help at-risk youth get exposure to the auto body trade.