GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Wednesday, someone acquired a new vehicle from auto dealership Romeo Toyota. That’s a regular occurrence. Less regular were the circumstances, as dealership employees and other well-wishers watched a five-digit number determine who would win a RAV4 in the name of a good cause.
Wednesday marked the culmination of the first leg of a new campaign for Romeo Toyota. Glens Falls Hospital sold sweepstakes tickets for the RAV4 in question – generating over $70,000 for a new namesake program at the hopsital.
“I grew up four streets from this dealership,” said General Manager Mike Romeo. “It’s great to be able to give back to the community a bit.”
The community member to win the vehicle in question was Queensbury resident Bill Powers. Sweepstakes tickets like his generated upwards of $70,000 for the growing Romeo Auto Group Scholarship Fund at Glens Falls Hospital.
The fund was created as a way to fuel the education it takes to create a new generation of doctors, nurses and specialists that keep a busy center like GFH working. The new effort is, in part, in response to a growing problem over the last several years.
“As worker shortages have expanded over the years, it’s become more important to invest in our community and region to ensure we have providers to care for us in the years to come,” said Glens Falls Hospital CEO Paul Simeca. “It will fund scholarships for students who wish to pursue a career in health care, and want to come back here to practice in the future.”
Romeo Toyota isn’t stopping here. The dealership has already launched its next effort, with 1,000 tickets for sale online.
This time, the recipient will be St. Mary’s/St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School on Warren Street. At 140 years old, the school is ready to welcome the aid.
“At that many years old, just imagine what this money can do for the building, for the program, and for getting the word out so that more people know about us,” said Father Scott VanDerveer, the school’s pastor. “We’re the only significant private school in a huge area of the North Country – from Saratoga to Ticonderoga – so it really does provide an alternative education to folks looking for that.”
Romeo Toyota is a family-owned auto dealership group, with additional locations in Queensbury, Kingston, and Lake Katrine.