The start of 2021 marked the beginning of a year-long initiative for Krapohl Ford & Lincoln.
A frequent and longtime supporter in the community, Krapohl will be partnering each month with a local organization to promote and help generate much-needed funds for the organizations, many of whose fundraising events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Smith, General Manager of Krapohl Ford & Lincoln and co-owner, says being involved in the community through multiple causes rather than one signature cause is characteristic of the business, which was started by Harold and Bob Krapohl in 1950.
“It's what we've been doing, just a lot more purposeful,” says Smith. “With a lot of these organizations there's some history with Krapohl Ford, not all of them, but a connection with many of them besides just donation here and there.”
The first partner of the “Local Dealership. Local Commitment.” campaign was the Humane Animal Treatment Society (HATS).
“They've been wonderful supporters of the animal shelter and they care a lot about the animals,” says Angela Miedema, Executive Director of HATS.
Throughout January, Krapohl featured the organization across social media and through penny wars where people could vote for the cutest adoptable pet. The month culminated in a fundraising event in which 50% of all proceeds from oil change sales at the Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center at Krapohl on Friday, Jan. 29 went to support HATS.
Christopher Bartown, a lube technician at Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center at Krapohl Ford & Lincoln, works on a car on Friday, Jan. 29 during a fundraising event at the center for the Humane Animal Treatment Society.
“They’re such wonderful supporters and all of the team, even those doing the oil changes, were so excited,” says Miedema. “I think it's just been such a great experience on both sides and we will definitely be working together in the future.”
Miedema says that this support goes directly toward helping animals that are up for adoption, in particular with medical care as it is the organization’s largest expense.
“Especially during the pandemic, it seems that we're getting a lot of animals in need of very immediate medical attention and pretty serious ones too,” says Miedema. “We are doing a lot of x-rays, ultrasounds, diagnostics, and every bit of money from the community helps go towards those things and Krapohl Ford stepped up to do that for us.”
Co-owner Tom Krapohl says that when it comes to fundraising efforts in the community, their door is always open.
“Part of our mission is doing good for the community, that's our focus,” says Krapohl. “We as a company can help fund things and do events like this, but to really get our people involved is something that we just want that to happen whenever we can.”
The Mt. Pleasant Soccer Club is this month’s featured partner.
“We made a donation to them that they're using to support families who couldn't afford the fees,” says Smith. “We've participated with them a lot in the past, like we've sponsored their soccer balls and made donations for the field upkeep.”
Organizations such as the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, and Art Reach of Mid Michigan will be featured in the upcoming months.
“I think Krapohl is really trying to showcase that they are here for the community,” says Lisa Phelps, Executive Director of the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum. “A lot of times everything they do is behind the scenes. So this is just bringing it to the light, what they do not just for nonprofits, but small businesses.”
The Discovery Museum will be Krapohl’s featured partner during March, and Phelps says they are planning to hold a family-friendly drive-in movie at the dealership.
“All through the museum’s history they've been amazing for us,” says Phelps. “With us not being able to hold an event in almost a year now, this event is just so exciting and I feel like it's getting us out of that survival mode and breathing some life back into us.”
With the Discovery Museum still closed, Phelps says this event will make a big difference for the organization.
“Being a hands-on, socially interactive place — it's been really hard on us,” says Phelps. “For us, the whole point of being here is for people to touch, share, and play together, and that's just still not happening. So this is just like, ‘Wow, we can still make a difference.’ We can still be in people's lives, and just remind people that we are still here.”
Smith says the difference with the initiative is that they are being proactive, having conversations with the organizations about how to provide support rather than waiting for requests for sponsorship or solicitation letters.
“What I'm already seeing is this interaction is so much more than what we used to have,” says Smith. “It used to just be a phone call and write a check…We’re only a month into it, but I look forward to seeing where it takes us.”
To follow along with featured partners or to find out about upcoming events, visit Krapohl Ford & Lincoln on Facebook at facebook.com/KrapohlFordLincoln.