Cars for Courage - Donor Stories
The Cars for Courage Program, introduced in October 1996, was launched with high hopes. Yet few could have predicted its success. Since its start, more than 28,000 vehicles have been donated, making Cars for Courage a significant and critical source of revenue in support of Courage Center programs and services. The program appeals to many people with a variety of situations.
Donations to Cars for Courage have included classic cars such as a 1946 Ford Pickup and a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Aire Duluxe, as well as luxury vehicles such as a 1999 Chevrolet Jayco Express Motorhome. In addition to cars, trucks and vans, people have donated boats, bobcats, golf carts, shuttle buses and riding lawn mowers. Here are a few of their stories.
Rhonda and Gary Sorenson donated the Chrysler LeBaron convertible that is now used as the Cars for Courage mascot. More than just a means of transportation for Rhonda, the Lebaron represented her freedom from car pool and dog care duties.
“I had driven station wagons during all the years of raising my sons and having big dogs,” Ronda said. “When the boys were grown and the dogs had died, I got the LeBaron. I called it my mid-life Chrysler.”
Because the car meant so much to Rhonda, she was thrilled when Courage chose to transform it into “Curbie,” the Cars for Courage mascot. As Curbie, Rhonda’s former car represents Cars for Courage in local parades, at local festivals, and at Cars for Courage drop-off events.
Kim and Steve Whittles: "Participating in the Cars for Courage program was a fabulous experience for us. It gave us the opportunity to contribute to Courage Center in a way we'd have never been able to do otherwise (we'd never be able to afford a cash donation to equal the value of our car). So, we were thrilled to do this. We're happy we were able to do it, and it felt good!"
Scott Binda was concerned about finding a good home for his classic 1960s Ramblers. For more than ten years he had enjoyed riding around in the cars listening to Minnesota Twins games as he did when he was a kid. In recent years, however, he found himself with less time for such pursuits. “I didn’t have the time necessary to maintain and enjoy the cars anymore,” he explained.
Well acquainted with Courage Center through his aunt, Joyce Vincent, who had worked here for more than 40 years, Scott decided to donate his collectable vehicles to Cars for Courage. “These were beautiful cars that should be enjoyed by someone,” he said. “I couldn’t think of anyone better to find a new home for them than Courage Center.”
John Sherman first donated a car and later a boat. He learned about Cars for Courage in the newspaper. He was aware of the work done at Camp Courage and decided to donate the 1967 Lincoln Towncar he had been storing in his garage for years.
“Living in the country, I really had no idea how to dispose of a car of this type and I wanted to help the folks at Camp Courage,” he said. “The whole transaction was very simple and easy.”
More recently, when he decided to buy a new boat, he immediately thought of Cars for Courage. “I plan to donate my old boat so I won't have to dicker with the dealer on a trade-in,” he said.