From staff reports
The Venango County Fair will get a boost this year from a donation made by a local car dealership.
The fair, which opens Saturday, is one of several charities that benefited from a fundraising project last year at A. Crivelli Subaru.
The dealership participates in Subaru’s national Share the Love Event each November and December, in which money is donated to a charity every time a new car is purchased. Car buyers can choose between the ASPCA, Meals on Wheels, Make a Wish, National Parks and a local charitable organization to receive the money.
Owner Michael Crivelli said he teamed up with the Venango County Fair – making it be the local beneficiary of the annual fund drive – to give people a chance to do good for the community.
“We are rooted in Franklin,” Crivelli said, noting the company has been operating in Venango County since 1980. “It’s important to do what we can to help support the community.”
Funds from this year’s event will benefit the 519Strong charity, he said.
The local charitable foundation exists to provide inspiration, encouragement and support to families affected by childhood cancer and other medical issues. It is operated in dedication to Jeremy Coast, who died at age 18 after a battle with leukemia.
Crivelli said while money from 519Strong is used to fund scholarships for college-bound students who have overcome adversity, the charity is also looking to help local families who incur travel and lodging expenses while dealing with a medical crisis that demands traveling to and from out-of-town hospitals.
He said a personal experience in his family was a catalyst for his push for the 519Strong commitment.
“We went through a very hard time recently and we benefited from the kindness of other people. I want to help do the same thing for others,” he said.
“I want my name attached to something this important,” Crivelli said.
Crivelli recently unveiled a $1.2 million investment project at the Franklin dealership that can provide shelter and comfort to his customers who bring their vehicles in for service.
A new customer drive-through service was added as well as a new lounge area with television, WiFi and refreshments, and a larger, more modern showroom.
The drive-through service enables customers to avoid poor weather by pulling their vehicle inside the dealership building, where they can gain access to a service representative.
When work on a vehicle is completed, the customer’s car can be driven out of the building – keeping customers comfortable indoors and out of the weather, Crivelli said.
The project added 7,536 square feet to the Franklin dealership.
Workers from Whalen Contracting completed the project within five months, Crivelli said. The completed renovation project was unveiled in June, Crivelli said.