Category Archives: Charity

Koons 25 Days of Giving, and We’ve Reached the End!

candle_light_photos08

What a year we’ve had and the last 25 days has been amazing!

As we said when we kicked off the 25 Days of Giving program, Koons Automotive takes pride in giving back to the communities in which we are located. For the past fifty years that we have been in existence we always find ways to help where it makes the most sense.  This year we launched our “Koons 25 Days of giving” where we gave to 25 charities (well actually 29, but who’s counting), here is a list of all the groups we helped out:

  1. 12/1/13 – Urban Alliance, Tysons VA
  2. 12/2/13 – Habitat for Humanity, Easton MD
  3. 12/3/13 – Boys and Girls Club of Westminster, Westminster MD
  4. 12/3/13 – Carroll Hospice, Westminster MD
  5. 12/4/13 – Salvation Army, Arlington VA
  6. 12/5/13 – Phillips Program, Arlington VA
  7. 12/6/13 – Jill’s House, Tysons VA
  8. 12/7/13 – Cancer Center, Westminster MD
  9. 12/8/13 – March of Dimes, Annapolis MD
  10. 12/9/13 – Easton Church of God – Al Trojanowski, Easton MD
  11. 12/10/13 – Children’s Charities Foundation, Arlington VA
  12. 12/10/13 – Jubilee Housing, Arlington VA
  13. 12/11/13 – Dreams for Kids – Holiday for Hope, Tysons VA
  14. 12/12/13 – YMCA of the Chesapeake, Easton MD
  15. 12/13/13 – Target Community, Westminster MD
  16. 12/13/13 – Human Services Programs of Carroll County, Westminster MD
  17. 12/14/13 – Anne Arundel County Literacy Council, Annapolis MD
  18. 12/15/13 – L’Arche Greater Washington, Arlington VA
  19. 12/16/13 – Don Bosco Cristo Rey, Tysons VA
  20. 12/17/13 – Alternative House, Tysons VA
  21. 12/18/13 – Youth Leadership Foundation, Tysons VA
  22. 12/19/13 – Carroll County Senior Center, Westminster MD
  23. 12/20/13 – Autism Speaks, Annapolis MD
  24. 12/21/13 – First Book, Tysons VA
  25. 12/22/13 – Deaf Independent Living Association, Easton MD
  26. 12/23/13 – Penn-Marr, Westminster, MD
  27. 12/24/13 – JDRF, Annapolis MD
  28. 12/24/13 – Chive Charities, Annapolis MD
  29. 12/25/13 – Our Military Kids, Tysons VA

Here is a link to the 25 Days of Giving Facebook Photo Album for this years efforts.

Giving anyone anything is always fun, and along the way we had to modify our plans and accommodate some of you who took us up on our challenge to match our donations, so that made this year’s giving even more fun.  Specifically, we added a donation to the Salvation Army who had some of their holiday donations stolen. We also had a few organizations reach out to us as they heard what we were doing and we were able to help them as well!  The kind words of support and notes of encouragement have been great and as a company we are certainly blessed to be able to help out like this.

We’re looking forward to giving more in next year, so stay tuned, and Happy 2014!

Koons 25 Days of Giving, Week 2

cancer

Over the next 18 days Koons Automotive will continue giving a donation a day to local area charities.  Here is a recap of the different groups that Koons helped:

  1. December 7 –  Day 6 of “25 Days of Giving” at Koons was for Jill’s House!
    http://ow.ly/i/3WRXj 
  2. December 9 – Koons continued “25 days of Giving” this past weekend with a donation to the Carroll Regional Cancer Center. pic.twitter.com/KbPxrfJOuf
  3. December 10 – Today’s donation for Koons “25 Days of Giving” was to the Children’s Charities Foundation!
    http://ccfdc.org/  pic.twitter.com/y5jpUrcb4u
  4. December 11 – Koons Tysons Toyota continued “25 Days of Giving” w/a donation to Dreams for Kids-Holiday for Hope!  pic.twitter.com/k7uAj8xEWP
  5. December 12 – We are on day 12 of Koons “25 Days of Giving.” The YMCA Chesapeake is next on the list!
    pic.twitter.com/esiufsE1Iw

Check back over the next few weeks. We will be spotlighting each charity and sharing their contact info so you can follow our lead and give back, too! We would love to hear from you about how you’ve helped, so share your story below.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Jim Koons Automotive!

Why you should also donate during the Koons “25 Days of Giving” this year:

25days

This is the time of year to give and Koons has always felt that giving back to the community is a way to demonstrate good corporate stewardship.  We are hoping more corporations will follow our lead and donate to local charities.

As Koons kicks off its “25 Days of Giving,”  we would like to issue a challenge to other local area businesses to give as well!  Koons Automotive has always given back to the surrounding communities of its dealerships. Those donations include gifts to area food banks, shelters, youth programs, disabled veterans, and many more.

Koons 25 Days of Giving is a program designed to provide local organizations and services with cash donations.  Each day, for the next 25 days, Koons Automotive will be highlighting one local organization by giving them a donation to help in their daily operations or services.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we help these worthwhile organizations.

Koons is a company that is blessed with strong leadership and smart employees who have always been able to weather economic slowdowns and financial hardships with little to no adverse effects.  Through the lean years, Koons has been able to maintain strong alliances and support of our vendors and suppliers. They in turn have benefited from the strong leadership and have grown as well. They are a big part of why we are able to give this time of year. It is a team effort and Koons is happy to be able to be able to help out.

This year Koons Automotive will be sharing its prosperity with over 30 organizations throughout the DelMarVa region.  The list of receiving organizations is varied but includes senior and youth groups, homeless and women’s shelters, cancer survivors groups, and veterans.

Donating this time of year is a good thing to do and benefits everyone.  Individuals and small businesses that donate money or time and services can lower their tax profiles and take advantage of different matches and incentives offered by other large companies and national corporations specifically designed to spur greater giving.

But as a small business or individual you should always be careful of who and how you donate, fraud runs rampant around this subject, so donate wisely.  You should also be aware of some of the rules around charitable donations and avoid some of the legal pitfalls.  Here are a few bullet points on the subject:

  • Monetary contributions – Cash or other monetary contributions may be tax deductible as long as they are not set aside for use by a specific person. Contributions must also be made during the tax year to be eligible for a deduction, regardless of the accounting method you use.
  • Donations of property, including business inventory – These are also considered a valid tax deduction. Donations are evaluated and deducted based on their fair market value (basically what a consumer would pay for these goods in an open market). Deductions are limited in most cases to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income.
  • Volunteering – While you can’t deduct the value of your service, you can deduct certain expenses incurred and related to your volunteer work. For example, if you host a party or fundraiser for the organization, you can deduct the costs. Other deductibles include supplies (e.g. stationery), the costs of a uniform and telephone expenses.
  • Benefits you receive as a result of your charitable contributions – If you received something in return for your donation, you can only deduct the amount of your contribution that is over and above the value of the benefit you receive. For example, say you attended a fundraiser and placed a winning bid on a weekend in Las Vegas where the trip is valued at $2,500, but you actually bid $5,000. Your deductible contribution (i.e. the fair market value of the trip, in this instance), is the value of your total contribution ($5,000, minus the benefit you receive ($2,500), for an allowable charitable contribution deduction of $2,500.

When in doubt, consult your accountant or tax attorney and always keep good records.

This is an absolute must when it comes to preparing your taxes and ensuring you can back up your deduction claims should the IRS initiate an audit. If you have any concerns the IRS offers information on the records you need to keep for monetary, non-monetary and out-of-pocket cash expenses when donating your services click here for more on that subject.

Check back over the next 25 days. We will be spotlighting each charity and sharing their contact info so you can follow our lead and give back, too! We would love to hear from you about how you’ve helped, so share your story below.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Jim Koons Automotive!

Koons Announces Partnership with the Diviney Family of Ashburn, VA

The Sienna is ready to be delivered!

The Sienna is ready to be delivered!

Happy Holidays!

Today, we’re so happy and proud to announce a partnership with a local family – the Diviney Family of Ashburn, Virginia. Just a little background for you: we first became aware of the Diviney family story earlier this year. Ryan Diviney, at the time a sophomore at West Virginia University, was brutally beaten by a group of strangers while attending the university in 2009. Ryan miraculously survived the vicious attack; however, he still remains in a vegetative state to this day. His primary caretaker – his father Ken – resigned from his career after the attack to tend full-time to Ryan.

Earlier this year, Ryan’s sister Kari, reached out to me requesting our assistance with their family. Since we get many, many requests from very worthwhile organizations and individuals every day, unfortunately there are limited resources available to honor each and every request. However, the Diviney family story resonated very strongly with me as well as many members of the Koons organization. The family story is not only that of great challenge and difficulty given the situation, but also one of true inspiration and LOVE. The love and strength of the family is so apparent when you read about and meet this family. It is truly heartwarming to see the great lengths Ryan’s family has gone to support him and provide care for him.

Kari mentioned to me that the assistance they needed was in the form of help with a vehicle, obviously my family company’s specialty.  A vehicle in which to transport Ryan out of the house not only to his many appointments, but also to simply give Ryan a change of scenery from inside his home. The family wanted to be able to take Ryan out for a car ride, or to the park, while allowing Ryan to continue to experience life in the outdoors.  Their current vehicle that was ‘equipped’ to carry Ryan was a 1982 Chevy, one that they were worried about for Ryan’s safety given his special wheelchair and the age and condition of the vehicle.

Today, the Koons family and organization are proud to support the Diviney family with a new Toyota Sienna mobility van. A brand new van – specially equipped to support Ryan and his needs – will allow this amazing family to transport Ryan wherever they need.  During times in which we find ourselves grieving over other events in our country and asking ‘why’ – let us take a moment to celebrate a very inspirational family who demonstrates the most visible form of selfless love. This type of caring and love is truly what makes our world great.

Please also show your support for Ryan and his family by connecting with them via their website Ryan’s Rally, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Enjoy the pictures of the event below!

May you and your family have a very Happy Holiday season!

–Krystal Koons

The Diviney Family along with myself in the van. L-R: Ryan's mother Sue, Ryan's father Ken, Ryan, Ryan's sister Kari.

The Diviney Family along with myself in the van. L-R: Ryan’s mother Sue, Ryan’s father Ken, our hero Ryan, Ryan’s sister Kari.

The whole team! L-R: Amy Ruby (Koons Marketing Director), Dave Telfer (Koons Social Media Director), Ken Diviney, Kari Diviney, Sue Diviney, Ryan, Krystal, Jack Ballinghoff (GM, Koons Tysons Toyota)

The whole team! L-R: Amy Ruby (Koons Marketing Director), Dave Telfer (Koons Social Media Director), Ken Diviney, Kari Diviney, Sue Diviney, Ryan, Krystal, Jack Ballinghoff (GM, Koons Tysons Toyota)

Our "WOW Ya" Balloons are ready!

Our “WOW Ya” Balloons are ready!

Ken is interviewed by NBC4

Ken is interviewed by NBC4

The Diviney Family thanks everyone for attending the event!

The Diviney Family thanks everyone for attending the event!

Thanks to our friends at ABC7 and NBC4 for attending the event!

Thanks to our friends at ABC7 and NBC4 for attending the event!

Ken speaks to the attendees. Very heartfelt!

Ken speaks to the attendees. Very heartfelt!

Team Brown Boys – Thanks for the inspiration!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Wounded Warriors just rode through town and Koons Arlington Toyota was a proud sponsor of their Honor Ride 2011.  Everyone met at Whitlows on Wilson last Thursday for a pre-race day dinner.  Then on Friday Koons supported Team Brown Boys – Ben and Andrew.  Their story is inspirational, so I wanted to post it word for word.  Today’s blog is courtesy of Andrew Brown:

“I am cruising down Constitution at a brisk, but comfortable pace. The Washington Monument is directly to my left and the White House is on my right. I hear the roar of the crowd and watch a black SUV filled with Diplomatic Security clear traffic ahead of our large group of riders. About 50 yards in front of me, I can see Benjamin near the front of the pack of veterans riding “hand cycles,” which operate according to the same concept as a bicycle, but are specially adapted for individuals who have limited or no use of their legs. One word jumps to the forefront of my mind: fortunate.

The burning in my legs as I propel my bike forward reminds me that I am fortunate to have the full use of my limbs. Loud cheers that erupt from the crowds of tourists, government employees, and lobbyists who have lined the street to cheer on the veterans participating in the race remind me that we are fortunate to have a military comprised of dedicated men and women who (to borrow a line from the great Aaron Sorkin) “stand on a wall” to protect our freedom. The sight of Benjamin ahead of me reminds me how fortunate I am that he is still alive.

Aside from being my cousin, Benjamin is a huge inspiration and influence on my life. Growing up, Ben and I always enjoyed a close relationship. Our fathers are twin brothers, which Ben tells me actually makes us genetically closer to being brothers than cousins. Whether or not this is true scientifically doesn’t matter much because I know that, at a level beyond scientific understanding, Ben and I are brothers.

Ben joined the Navy in 2000, shortly after graduating college. Following boot camp, he was stationed in Pensacola, Florida where his was trained in cryptology, and then transferred to Naples, Italy. Through sporadic emails, Ben regaled me with photographs of Rome and stories of his new Italian girlfriend. One of my favorite things to hear about was Ben’s new motorcycle. As a typical American adolescent male, the motorcycle was the physical manifestation of the freedom I craved. It seemed that Ben had it all.

In late 2002, however, this image was shattered by a single phone call. Ben had been in an accident while riding his motorcycle, and there was a good chance that he wasn’t going to make it. Tense months passed as we prayed and waited for news of Ben’s recovery. Eventually, it became clear that Ben would survive, but that he would never be able to walk again due to the severe damage he sustained to his spinal cord.

Ben was medically retired from the Navy in 2003 and returned home to Kentucky. Our family gathered around him and tried to do what we could to help in his recovery. It was Ben’s perseverance and desire to not be defined by his disability, however, that drove his recovery. He also brought our family closer together. As a large family with a strong agricultural background, we have always been a close-knit group. It seems that farming breeds large, close families (this is most likely due to the free labor). Ben’s accident and his example drew us even closer together by showing us the fragility of life and forcing us to truly appreciate the time we spend together.

It has been about eight years since his accident and in that time Ben has graduated college, built a house, married a wonderful woman, and fathered a beautiful baby girl. Not one who is content to slow down, Ben is active in adaptive sports and travels across the country to kayak, ski, surf, and bike. He also works to help other injured veterans overcome their disabilities.

When Ben and I decided to form our team for the Honor Ride, we weren’t sure how we would raise the $4000 we were required to raise. We emailed family, friends, and business associates and were able to raise a significant amount of money, but nowhere near what we needed. Then, we received a call from a representative from Koons who had seen our profile on the Wounded Warrior Project’s fundraising website and was interested in sponsoring our ride. Thanks to Koons generous donation, we were able to raise the money we needed to for the ride. All of these funds will go to fund the services that the Wounded Warrior Project provides to the men and women of our armed forces who return home with life-changing injuries.

Ben and I are thankful to Koons for their support and to the Wounded Warrior Project for the great work that they do. Please take some time to visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org to learn how you can support this amazing organization and the work that it does for our veterans.”

Thanks for sharing Andrew.  We loved meeting you and your cousin, Ben.  We wish you both all the best.

Chat soon.

-KK