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Oregon dealerships fight impact of West Coast wildfires

“Our staff jumped into action and used some of our vehicles to help surrounding people evacuate,” says Derek DeBoer, owner of TC Chevy in Ashland

Willamette Valley, Ore.—In the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon, nine new-car dealers joined efforts to donate $48,000 to their local United Way chapter to help residents and families impacted by the wildfires, according to a new report by NADA. Participating dealers included Capitol Auto Group, Donofrio, Lithia BMW of Salem, Lithia Honda of Salem, Lithia VW of Salem, Nissan of Salem, Power Auto Group, and Withnell Hyundai and Withnell Dodge.

“Within hours of hearing about the devastating fires, a few of us dealers dropped off physical goods, supplies and resources to the United Way and some initial cash to help them out,” said Alex Casebeer, general manager of Capitol Subaru. “As the days went on, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for us all to come together and show strong support and got a positive response after reaching out to all of the new car dealers in Salem. It has been great to see us come together.”

“We really try to be as supportive as we can in our community and this one was clearly devastating.”

— TC Chevy owner Derek DeBoer

Derek DeBoer, owner of TC Chevy in Ashland, Ore., related how his dealership escaped damage and assisted in evacuating community members, “We were right in the thick of it from the beginning — the fire was coming right at our dealership, but ultimately made a lucky move and missed us. Our staff jumped into action and used some of our vehicles to help surrounding people evacuate. I was so proud of how the entire team here responded. We really try to be as supportive as we can in our community and this one was clearly devastating.”

In Jackson County, Ore., three local car dealership owners contributed $75,000 to the United Way of Jackson County Fire Fund. TC Chevy owner Derek DeBoer, Airport Chevrolet owner Steve Miller and Southern Oregon Subaru owner Randy Nidalmia each donated $25,000 to the fund after the Almeda fire destroyed parts of Talent and Phoenix.

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