A local auto dealer is going to make someone’s Christmas brighter with a free car.

Chevrolet of Columbus, 2825 Merchant’s Mile, is asking residents to nominate a deserving family to receive the vehicle, said Fred Armstrong, dealership marketing specialist.

The giveaway was the idea of Chevrolet of Columbus owner Leo Portaluppi, Armstrong said.

“Leo told me it would be great to give a car to a needy and deserving family,” Armstrong said. “Whoever writes the most compassionate letter will win the car for the nominee.”

Nominations can be made on the dealership’s website at chevyofcolumbus.com.

Portaluppi intends to read each nomination himself, and choose five finalists, Armstrong said.

He will then present the five finalists to the dealership’s nearly 30 employees, and let them decide who will get the vehicle, he said.

The dealership wants to determine the needs of the recipient before determining what type of vehicle it is going to give away, Armstrong said.

“If it’s someone with four kids that needs a bigger car, they’ll get a larger vehicle,” Armstrong said. “But if they can get by with a smaller one, we can do that as well.”

All nominations must include the name of the nominating individual and a telephone number where they can be reached, Armstrong said.

After operating out of a temporary location off North National Road for a few years, Chevrolet of Columbus opened a $4.2 million auto dealership on 4 acres near the junction of Interstate 65 and Jonathon Moore Pike in May 2016.

The dealership has been involved in a variety of community service efforts that have included:

A fundraiser for injured Columbus North basketball player Josh Speidel.

Assistance to kidscommons children’s museum.

Charity parking for events at The Commons.

Providing a Corvette as grand prize for a Columbus Indiana Philharmonic raffle.

Founding sponsor of the Columbus Craft Beer Fest.

Sponsoring the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center’s YES Cinema.

How to make a nomination

Nominations for the free-car giveaway sponsored by Chevrolet of Columbus can be made online at chevyofcolumbus.com

Choose “Community Outreach” on the to menu and click on “Free Car Giveaway.”

All nominations must be written in 200 words or less, and include the name of the nominating individual and a telephone number where they can be reached.

Letters of nomination may also be dropped off or mailed to:

Chevrolet of Columbus, c/o Fred Armstrong, 2825 Merchant’s Mile, Columbus, IN 47201

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.