Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It can impact anyone, at any time, seemingly out of nowhere. Team Chevrolet of Valparaiso felt that heartbreak personally when one of their employees, Ronnie Howell, died of a sudden heart attack in 2019.
This year, Team Chevrolet decided to honor Howell’s memory by donating to the American Heart Association (AHA) – Indiana. In March of 2021, $100 of every sale was collected toward the donation. On Tuesday afternoon, the drive finished and General Manager Dave Brubaker, along with his team, presented a $10,000 check to AHA.
“It’s so huge to us that we’re able to do this,” Brubaker said. “After what happened with Ronnie, we all learned more about just how many people heart disease impacts, and particularly that one in three women [aged 25 to 55] die of heart disease. He’s the main reason we’re doing this; we wanted to give back and do our part in his memory.”
While this donation is a very personal one to Team Chevrolet, they are very familiar with finding ways to support the community. Their founders and ownership, Gurley Leep Automotive Family, fully supports the dealership’s involvement in AHA.
“It’s fantastic that this company gives back and that we’re able to support local causes like this,” Brubaker said. “Last year we contributed $10,000 to American Cancer Society’s local Relay for Life. It feels good to make a difference.”
Jennifer Young, socials director for American Heart Association – Indiana, was on hand to accept the check.
“Community support like this is everything about our mission, because our mission is the community,” she said. “When we look at our community, those impacted by heart disease aren’t just those we work with; it’s those we live by, our family members, and something that could impact everyone. For Team Chevy, that really hit home and we’re proud to play a part in honoring the memory of Ronnie.”
Young noted that 80 percent of deadly cardiovascular disease complications such as heart attacks and strokes are preventable, and that contributions such as Team Chevrolet’s make a big impact on their ability to reach out to those preventable cases.
“Those deaths are preventable through education and lifestyle change,” said Young. “When we do something like this with Team Chevy, it unites the community, raises awareness, raises education, and importantly, funds needed research. This is what helps move the needle.”To learn more about Team Chevrolet of Valparaiso, visit chevyon30.com. For more information on American Heart Association and their efforts to fight cardiovascular disease, visit www.heart.org.