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Manheim and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) presented the third annual Dealer's Edge National Community Service Award to Freeman Motor Company of Portland, Ore., during the 67th NIADA Convention and Expo at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Freeman Motor Co. received a check for $5,000 to be donated to Bridge Meadows, the dealership's charity of choice. Bridge Meadows develops and sustains intergenerational neighborhoods for adoptive families of foster children to promote permanency, community and caring relationships, while offering safety and meaningful purpose in the daily lives of older adults.
The dealership's president and founder, Eric Freeman, and his wife Jenny have made a personal commitment to make a difference, which served as the template for the dealership's employees.
Freeman Motor Co. is involved with numerous local and diverse nonprofits. Among the charities it supports: Children's Center, a child abuse assessment center; Remember Nhu, which works to prevent children from entering the sex trade industry; Jubilee Transitions Home, which provides housing for homeless men; and Toys for Tots.
In 2010, while visiting a resettlement camp in Kageyo, Rwanda, Freeman learned the remote village needed a vehicle to transport food, supplies and sick children through a harsh climate and challenging terrain. Bicycles and walking were the only modes of transportation for the community of 3,000 residents, which included 1,000 children.
Freeman launched a campaign that raised funds for a truck to deliver food and supplies and transport people for medical treatment. Freeman, who serves as executive secretary of the Oregon Independent Auto Dealers Association, remains involved with the needy village.
Three other dealerships were honored at the NIADA National Leadership Awards Banquet as finalists for their charitable efforts:
- The Car Store, Oklahoma City, Okla.
- City Auto Sales, Memphis Tenn.
- Alamo Valley Auto Sales, Kalamazoo, Mich.