Businesses join to give car to needy family
A family in need was surprised with a car in December as part of an effort by local businesses to give back to their community.
Single mother Karen Lerwill and her children Jayda and Koby, of Payson, were invited to Robarge Collision in Spanish Fork on Dec. 17 where they were greeted by a crowd of donors and well-wishers and presented with a fully repaired and restored 2006 Chrysler 300 donated by Wade and Kristen Dudley. Lerwill’s children were born with genetic defects and the mother has MS. The family hadn’t had a car for five years.
“I’m just shocked,” Lerwill said after being presented with the car, which was filled with gifts for the family including gas cards loaded with hundreds of dollars. “I can’t thank them enough .... It’s going to change a lot of things for me.”
Cary Robarge, owner of Robarge Collision with his wife Judy, said the car giveaway has been a tradition at their business eight out of the 11 years they have owned it. The Robarges work with Matt Barber, president of Western States Insurance in Spanish Fork, and his wife Rochelle each year to find the car, get it fixed and locate a deserving family.
Cary Robarge said a suitable car that has been wrecked is found; he then works with various vendors to coordinate the repair efforts, which are donated. Robarge employees participate in the process, donating the time they spend to help fix the vehicles.
“This is what Christmas is all about for me,” Robarge said. “We changed the life of a complete stranger today and that’s what it’s all about.” He estimated about 150 people were involved in getting the 2015 car ready to go.
Matt Barber works each year to find the family that will receive the car. “We always try to find a person who’s the most deserving and the least expectant,” he said. Often he contacts Nebo School District for a referral, but sometimes the family is found in others ways such as simple word of mouth.
“This is like the highlight of the holiday season for me and my family, so we’re just happy to be a part of it,” Barber said.
In addition to Robarge Collision and Western States Insurance, other donors participating in the 2015 car giveaway included LHM Dodge, LKQ Keystone, Salt Lake Chrome, Napa Auto Parts, Big O Tires, Safelite AutoGlass, Wiggy Wash and Dickerson Automotive.
Canyon Foot and Ankle, a medical office dedicated to finding the perfect treatment for your foot condition and lifestyle, has opened in Spanish Fork. With a “conservative-first” approach, Dr. Levi J. Berry works with each patient to find the best possible treatment. During his comprehensive residency training, he earned fore foot and rear foot surgery certificates and is fully board qualified by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Canyon Foot and Ankle is located on Spanish Fork’s Main Street across from the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds inside the Precision Vision Building.