Watkin Motors’ Russell Shepherd (left) donates a minivan to Errol Thompson and Tim Gares

Watkin Motors’ Russell Shepherd (left) donates a minivan to Errol Thompson and Tim Gares

Family sought for giveaway

Some local businesses are gearing up to make Christmas extra special for a local family in need of a new vehicle

Some local businesses are gearing up to make Christmas extra special for a local family in need of a new vehicle.

But they need the public’s help in finding the deserving family.

Watkin Motors’ has donated a Ford Freestar minivan, which Fix Auto has spruced up and will be giving away just before Christmas.

Nomination letters are being sought, and will be accepted until Saturday, Nov. 28.

“We need everybody to email us or drop off their letter nominating a family who needs a vehicle,” said Tim Gares of Fix Auto (former Star Autobody, in conjunction with Manfred’s Autobody).

It could be a single parent in need of a reliable vehicle, or a family that’s down on their luck and can’t afford to upgrade their clunker which keeps breaking down.

“Of course, they need to be able to afford it and maintain it and insure it,” said Gares.

Although used, the minivan is in “great shape,” says Gares, and includes leather seats and even has a DVD player.

“Watkins really went the distance this year,” he said.

This is the 8th annual Christmas Car Giveaway, and something all involved look forward to just as much as the recipient.

“It’s actually just the feeling we get,” said Gares, of why the tradition continues. “It’s a really positive thing to do for a family this time of year.”

The hardest part is reading the heart-wrenching letters and trying to choose the recipient.

“It’s usually overwhelming. It’s hard to pick just one because they are all worthwhile.”

Nominations letters can be dropped off at either Fix Auto location, Star Autobody at 2814 37th Ave. or Manfred’s Autobody at 6252 Pleasant Valley Road, or Watkin Motors. Letters can also be emailed to: christmascarvernon@fixauto.com.