Subaru’s annual Share the Love fundraiser event is fast approaching. The event kicks off in mid-November, and with it come boundless opportunities to raise money for both national and local charities.
Subaru prides itself on offering its customers an experience beyond simply buying a car. It wants to create a sense of community — of family — and the Share the Love event is but one way it puts those values into action. In the words of Ben Ledet, general sales manager for Subaru of Baton Rouge, the event is “a culmination of everything Subaru stands for. We always say we’re more than just a car dealership, and this is why.”
As in years past, each Subaru dealership partners with four national organizations: the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Make a Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels and the National Park Foundation.
In addition to these four, each dealership chooses a local — or “hometown” — charity. And our local Subaru of Baton Rouge has chosen Folds of Honor, an organization that awards college scholarships to the families of deceased or critically injured veterans, and with whom Subaru of Baton Rouge has partnered for the past five years for the Share the Love fundraiser.
During the Share the Love event, Subaru of Baton Rouge donates a percentage of the profits from every car sold to a charity of the customer’s choice. If the customer opts for the hometown charity, the donation is increased.
Last year, the dealership donated $250 per car for the national charities. If the customer chose Folds of Honor, Subaru of Baton Rouge donated an additional $100. It even donated a percentage of money made from oil changes and oil filter maintenance to Folds of Honor as well. That year, Subaru of Baton Rouge delivered a check to Folds of Honor for $17,000, the most money ever raised in their five years of partnership.
Customers of Subaru of Baton Rouge during the Share the Love event are invited into the showroom, where the charities are displayed on a large screen. Customers then input their vehicle information to a computer and choose their charity, getting to see exactly how much their purchase will contribute. Subaru strives to include customers in the fundraiser experience, driving home the notion that when you buy a Subaru, you buy more than just a car. And the customers always leave with a complimentary souvenir or two, tokens of Subaru’s appreciation for their participation in the cause.
Nothing better emphasizes Subaru of Baton Rouge’s commitment to charity and community than its partnership with Folds of Honor. The charity was founded in 2007 by Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, then an F-16 pilot with the Oklahoma National Guard. Returning home from his second tour of duty in Iraq, Rooney saw a desperate need for financial support for the families of veterans who had been injured or killed while serving, and he set out to fill that void. Fast-forward to today, and the charity has raised over $135 million nationwide, funding over 30,000 scholarships.
Folds of Honor raises the bulk of its donations through a series of charity golf tournaments known as the “Patriot Shootout.” The Louisiana chapter of the shootout, which just celebrated its 10th year, was held at the University Club Golf Course in Baton Rouge on Oct. 12. Sixty-four two-player teams set out on the 27-hole course to revel in a day of golfing for a good cause, and to enjoy food and refreshments from a long list of Louisiana favorites, including City Pork, Doe’s Eat Place and Sullivan’s Steakhouse, all proud sponsors of Folds of Honor.
In partnership with Subaru of Baton Rouge, the Louisiana chapter of the Patriot Shootout has raised upwards of $1.5 million, which is awarded to veterans and their families living in the state. As a platinum charity, Folds of Honor directs 90% of the money raised to funding scholarships — no small piece of the pie. Folds of Honor prides itself on its dedication to assisting veterans and their families, a dedication made evident by its platinum status.
The night before the tournament, Folds of Honor hosts a party at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge. There, the organization holds both live and silent auctions, the proceeds of which help fund the charity. The main event of the night, however, is the presentation of scholarships to selected veterans and their families. These folks are guests of honor at the party, the grand fashion of the event emphasizing Subaru’s appreciation of their service to their country.