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Car dealer helps families stay near hospitals
by Noreen Cochran
February 03, 2014 03:23 PM | 1183 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / From left, BMW regional manager Jerome Ruppert,  car winner Wayne Johnson, nonprofit president Beth Howell and news anchor Russ Spencer.
Special Photo / From left, BMW regional manager Jerome Ruppert, car winner Wayne Johnson, nonprofit president Beth Howell and news anchor Russ Spencer.
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Union City dealership BMW of South Atlanta recently presented Wayne Johnson of Roswell with a 2014 BMW Z4 Roadster, valued at $50,675.

Johnson won the grand prize in an annual car raffle benefiting the nonprofit Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The dealership chipped in with its counterparts United BMW of Roswell, United BMW of Gwinnett Place, Global Imports BMW and Nalley BMW of Decatur to donate the grand prize, which raised $157,000 at $100 a ticket.

The nonprofit has since 1979 provided temporary housing near Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals to more than 43,000 families of critically ill and injured children being treated there.

“The hardest time in any family’s life is when their child is sick,” said Beth Howell, nonprofit president and CEO. “The Ronald McDonald House is a place where worried families find hope and healing in a comfortable and loving environment that allows them to focus on their child’s recovery. An average stay for a family is eight nights. Money raised from our BMW raffle will support 305 families for an average length of stay.”

There, she said, “families can enjoy many of the comforts of home, receive nutritious meals prepared and served by volunteers and obtain emotional support through contact with other families experiencing similar situations.”

No family is turned away if they cannot afford the $20 requested contribution.

“Many of these families stay at the Ronald McDonald House for weeks, and sometimes months, while their children receive medical treatment,” Howell said.

This marks the sixth consecutive year the five local area BMW dealers donated a vehicle.

The partnership has generated more than $850,000.

“There is no time more difficult in a family’s life than when a child is sick or injured. BMW is proud to join the nonprofit and help these families find comfort and hope during their time of need,” regional Field Marketing Manager Wayne Schulte of the car maker’s North America headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., said in a statement.

Peggy Taylor of Sandy Springs won the second prize of a $2,500 shopping spree courtesy of H. Stockton.

Vickie Kirbo of Brookhaven won the third prize of jewelry from Mayors Jewelers at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.

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