SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, RNR Tire Express franchisee Rental Concepts L.L.C., in partnership with Nexen Tire America Inc., donated a new car to Carrie Hodge, a mother, teacher and breast cancer survivor.
For the past several years, Rental Concepts, with stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, has held a Mother's Day car giveaway to a nominated mother in need. The pandemic disrupted those plans this year, so the company decided to sponsor a contest for breast cancer awareness in October.
"We had a huge success with talks of having it again next year," a spokeswoman said.
Rental Concepts sought nominations for its "You're A Rockstar New Car Giveaway" in television, radio and internet promotions, as well as via text blasts and social media.
More than 1,000 breast cancer patients and survivors were nominated this year, making the selection process a difficult one, the company said. The nominations were narrowed down and the finalist was selected by a panel of judges.
Rental Concepts presented Ms. Hodge with a 2020 Buick Encore fitted with Nexen tires Nov. 7 at the RNR Tire Express location in Springfield.
Numerous people nominated Ms. Hodge, the company said.
"Teaching is not her job, but rather her passion and this impacts her work greatly. I have been witness to countless students and families my mom has impacted over the years in a hugely positive way. ...," according to the nomination from her eldest daughter.
"In 2012 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and for the next two-and-a-half years she walked through countless chemo and radiation treatments as well as surgery," the daughter wrote.
"She is cancer-free today, which is testament to the real fighter that she is and the faithfulness of a good God. Through all of that I never once saw my mom take on an attitude of self-pity or defeat. She had to walk through bitterly hard days and horribly dark hours, but through it all my mom was a shining example of dignity, grace, hope and faith."
The new car was a welcome relief for Ms. Hodge, who couldn't afford to replace the car she was driving to visit numerous homes on a daily basis to provide homebound teaching services for students who are unable to attend school in person.