When faced with the choice of selling one of the hottest cars on the planet, or using it to help the community, for I-5 Cars, the choice was easy
For several years, the locally-owned auto group has hosted a car raffle where schools, charities and other organizations can sell $10 tickets and make 100% of the profit off them. Every year, the fundraising effort garners around $75,000 to $100,000 for local groups. In total since the start of the project, the raffle has raised around $800,000 for the community. This year, I-5 cars hopes to hit $1 million raised, so the team recently kicked off the annual raffle with its flashiest car yet: a white Ford Bronco.
“People have been waiting a long time for the Bronco, so that’s exciting. And then the other cool thing is that, really, a lot of dealers of this car right now, they’re marking them up like $20,000 over sticker. I think for us, we’re trying to send a message that we don’t want to A: sell cars that way and B: we want to help the community,” said Robert Pehl with I-5 Cars.
Organizations that have taken advantage of the raffle program in the past include academic and athletic groups from the Chehalis, Centralia, Rochester, Adna, Onalaska, Napavine, Winlock and Tumwater areas, along with several clubs and organizations.
“At any point in time any organization can come in and just loan the car out for a weekend or a few days, because they’ll have an event somewhere or whatever is going on and they can stage the car (to sell tickets),” Pehl said.
This way, according to a representative with I-5 cars, the dealership owners don’t have to choose between all the varied groups in the community they’d like to help out, but can spread fundraising efforts out to whoever is interested in participating. Plus, at the end of the raffle, which will take place at the annual W.F. West vs. Centralia Swamp Cup football game, somebody walks away with a new car.
Organizations looking to use the raffle opportunity for their fundraisers should contact reception at I-5 Cars by calling 360-740-9300. For those interested in purchasing tickets, the dealership can give out a list of groups involved for ticket-buyers to choose from.
The car can also be spotted at different events around the area throughout the year where tickets are available.
“The community is always here for us and they’ve supported us through floods and COVID, and whatever catastrophe so of course, we want to be there for our community. That’s important for us,” Pehl said. “Without the strength of our community, I-5 Cars, we’re not anything. So it’s a responsibility we take seriously.”