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Nissan dealership has donated $200,000 in cash and cars to the community

The general manager selected nonprofits close to his heart for dealership support

Posted: August 14, 2014 5:43 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2014 5:43 p.m.

When General Manager of Nissan of Valencia, Dan Sterkel, selected two nonprofits in Santa Clarita to support, he chose ones close to his heart.

“Having had cancer in my family, I chose Circle of Hope and the Michael Hoefflin Foundation,” Sterkel said. “I wanted to be a big part of that.

“The kids (helped by the Michael Hoefflin Foundation) just tug at your heart. And Circle of Hope has expanded from addressing breast cancer to men as well.”

The primary annual fundraising events for both groups are coming up very soon, including Circle of Hope’s Vine to Wine Classic on Saturday. And the dealership is playing an active role.

In addition to the two nonprofit groups, Nissan of Valencia has donated cars, scholarships, money and gift certificates to students in the William S. Hart Union High School District for the past three years.

The dealer’s owner and Sterkel both believe in creating awareness of the good work done by local nonprofits, Sterkel said. But the dealership has done more than pay lip service to community service.

Since opening four years ago in 2010, Nissan Valencia has donated more than $200,000 in cash and cars to the community, the dealership announced Wednesday.

“This is Dan’s second year with us,” said Gillian Stone, executive director with the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. “We absolutely love having him on our Board of Directors. He thinks outside the box and comes up with great ideas that he follows through on.”

Stone describes Sterkel’s creativity, energy and commitment as “I am Dan, Hear Me Roar.”

“If you’re a profitable dealership or business, you should be able to give back to your community,” Sterkel said.

And give Nissan of Valencia does.

For the past three years the dealership has given away a car to a student in the Hart district through a program tied to attendance.

It’s also developed monetary scholarships and given $500 to each of the district’s six marching bands, said Gail Pinsker, spokeswoman for the Hart district.

“This past spring nearly 70 students earned a prize, from a gift card, to scholarships or a car at an estimated value of $25,000,” Pinsker said. “We appreciate and value the partnership with Valencia Nissan.”

The dealership has also helped to support Circle of Hope, said Executive Director Ray Tippet.

“They have been extremely generous to the Circle of Hope over the past few years,” Tippet said. “Truly without their help we would not be able to provide the service to our community — individuals that are diagnosed with cancer — that we provide right now.”

Besides Vine to Wine, the dealership is also sponsoring the Afternoon Tea on Oct. 11 and the golf tournament on Oct. 20 for Circle of Hope.

Sterkel says he wants people to remain focused on the nonprofits and the help needed to support others in the community.

Circle of Hope is holding its 12th annual Vine 2 Wine Classic at CalArts starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, and the Michael Hoefflin Foundation’s annual “Evening Under the Stars” dinner and auction are scheduled at the Robinson Ranch golf course Sept. 13, Sterkle said.




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