Mother of sick child awarded free car

A Columbus woman will drive away with a free car thanks to the generosity of a local dealership.

Chevrolet of Columbus, 2825 Merchant’s Mile, plans to give the vehicle to a mother of three children Saturday, said Fred Armstrong, the dealership’s community relations director.

The woman, who chose not to be identified, was selected from among more than 200 nominations to the dealership describing families in need, he said.

A committee at the dealership eventually selected the woman after it was learned that one of her children would soon need surgery in Indianapolis and that her current vehicle isn’t reliable, Armstrong said.

The decision to give away a car came from Chevrolet of Columbus owner Leo Portaluppi, who wanted to give back to the community, Armstrong said.

The prize will likely be a late-model, four-door sedan estimated at $15,000 to $17,000.

The dealership also plans to cover the vehicle’s taxes and cost of license plate, Armstrong said.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or