United Way car winner picks up her new vehicle

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2023

Staff report

SALISBURY — Susan Thomas, chief financial officer at Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA, picked up her 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross L at Cloninger Toyota after being the winner of Rowan County United Way’s auto giveaway, an incentive made possible by local car dealerships Team Auto Group, Gerry Wood Auto Group, Cloninger Ford Toyota and Ben Mynatt Nissan.

Those who gave $78 or more to the organization’s 2022-2023 campaign were included in the drawing to win $25,000 toward a new vehicle. At the campaign finale event on Nov. 18, Thomas couldn’t contain her excitement when her name was drawn as the winner. “Buying and owning a new vehicle is a totally new experience for me,” she said.

She was the last member in her family of seven to get a new vehicle.

“Working for the Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA, a long-time United Way partner, I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact United Way and its Community Investment Partners have had on our community,” she said. “Because of this, I’ve contributed to United Way’s annual campaign through the Y’s payroll deduction option for over 25 years. I just thank God for this major blessing for me and my family and am happy to be able to pass the blessing on!”

As a nonprofit finance director, Thomas wanted to be a good steward of the car dealerships’ funds and made a careful decision when selecting her vehicle.

“I am confident that my choice, a Toyota, should last a long time and serve my family well for years to come,” she said. “I believe it should provide savings with high mpg while allowing me to have a SUV style vehicle that fits my needs. I was able to get it a great price point from Cloninger Toyota and it looks awesome!”

Ron Lovelace, managing partner at Cloninger Ford Toyota, said it has always been an easy decision to support United Way.

“United Way’s vision of being recognized in building a stronger, healthier community aligns directly with our companies’ Core Focus: ‘Improving the lives of our guests, associates and communities with Just Better Automotive Solutions.’ We greatly value this partnership with United Way as well as all our employees who have embraced and supported our annual campaigns unselfishly. We consider this not only as a partnership but two organizations working toward the same goal of improving people’s lives each and every day.”

“Team Auto Group, Gerry Wood Auto Group, Cloninger Ford Toyota and Ben Mynatt Nissan have been critical to fulfilling our mission and we thank them for giving back to our community in this unique and exciting way,” said Audrey Eudy, philanthropy director at Rowan County United Way.

For more information about United Way’s annual campaign or to make a donation, call 704-633-1802 or go to www.rowanunitedway.org.



Susan Thomas with her brand new 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross L.