PORTLAND, Maine-Many in the industry think it's hard enough just closing the sale on a set of new tires without trying to tack on extras at the cash register. But that hasn't stopped employees Portland-based Century Tire Co., who have been boosting their sales-ever so slightly-for the better part of a year, despite the fact that none of the extra money goes to the company.
For an extra $7, each Century Tire customer can take home a box of eight note cards created by and for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Portland.
The cards feature Portland area landmarks painted by club members on the front. On the back is a photograph and biography of the young artists.
All of the money from the sales supports the club's programs.
``We're not selling thousands, but we're selling a few dozen from each of our (four) stores,'' said Century Tire owner Dick Aronson.
That doesn't matter, according to club Executive Director Robert Clark, who said the cards were produced entirely through donations from area businesses.
``I put it in the classification of a nice fund raiser,'' Mr. Clark said. ``First and foremost it was developed as an awareness program.''
And the cards have definitely raised the community's awareness of the Boys and Girls Clubs, he said.
Mr. Aronson first became involved with the Boys and Girls Club 22 years ago, after he was approached by a fellow tire dealer, Joel Abramson, who has since become a state representative. He soon joined the board of directors.
Mr. Aronson's involvement has grown from there. At one point he presided over the organization.
``Every time I came out of the meeting, I was refreshed-as opposed to some business meetings you come out of,'' Mr. Aronson said jokingly. ``It's my favorite organization.''
As a past president, he is an ex-officio member of the board and still attends meetings, he said.
He also participated in 1994 on the marketing committee that developed the idea for the note cards.
The cards received an honorable mention in marketing at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America national convention, according to Mr. Clark.