AUBURN, Maine — The Christmas season is over, but the giving season continues for VIP Tires & Service.
The full-service automotive repair, maintenance and tire shop recently donated more than $117,000 to Make-A-Wish, using funds raised by the company's 62 locations across New England during the annual holiday Season of Wishes Campaign and matched by VIP Chairman John Quirk.
The sum is the dealership's largest donation to the charitable organization since 2007. In that time, VIP has raised over $700,000 for Make-A-Wish.
Stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont participated in the effort.
In 2020, the company's stores raised $58,548.48. The company match brought the total to $117,096.96. The 2020 donation was 21% higher than 2019.
VIP presented the Make-A-Wish check on Jan. 11 via Zoom.
"I don't know one person that didn't face some sort of challenge in 2020, but we know that some are struggling more than others," VIP President and CEO Tim Winkeler said.
"VIP wants to do everything we can to help alleviate some of these struggles and give joy as we head into a New Year.
"This donation ... will help grant the wishes of numerous young children facing life-threatening medical conditions across New England. I'm continuously impressed by the generosity and care our employees and customers show during the Season of Wishes campaign that make this donation possible."
Make-A-Wish grants wishes to critically ill children all across the country. The average cost to grant a wish in Maine is about $7,000.
"Despite the challenges 2020 has presented for many businesses, VIP continues to go above and beyond to make wishes for Make-A-Wish kids come true. This donation means the world," Kate Vickery, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Maine, said.
"My organization wants to extend a huge thank you to all VIP employees and customers for their continued commitment to supporting our mission. Throughout New England, the life-changing power of a wish will impact children and their families because of this generous donation. We look forward to sharing details about those wishes in the months to come."