Hughes Subaru in Athens gave the Athens Area Humane Society a big present Thursday. The car dealership donated $23,723 to the animal shelter.
The money was raised during the “Share the Love” campaign by Subaru, which allots $250 from each car sale to a charity of the customer’s choice. Customers can choose from one of the five nationally partnered charities or the locally-partnered one – the Athens Area Humane Society.
Hughes Subaru volunteered to match every dollar given locally.
“This is the first time we were able to do this because we’re a new dealership. We opened in August,” said Lindsay Lucas, marketing director for Hughes Subaru.
Many of the customers buying a new car during the campaign, which lasted from Nov. 17 to Jan. 3, chose to donate to the local charity .
“That shows how much customers really care about the community,” Lucas said.
Last year, the Athens Area Humane Society helped 1,300 animals get adopted, said Jed Kaylor, the shelter director.
The money will help fund the shelter’s Food Bowl Program, which offers free food for pet owners who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
The money will also help run the humane society’s Spay It Forward program, which provides free spay and neuter surgeries for pet owners who cannot afford the procedure.
“Any little bit that people can give helps, but a check this size is life-altering,” said Jane Stewart, executive director of the Athens Area Humane Society.
Follow reporter Hilary Butschek on Twitter @hilarylbutschek or at www.facebook.com/hbutschek.