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Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy speaks with the recipioent of Good News Garage's 5,500th donated car, MErcedeze Moore.
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GNG Celebrates 25 Years of Car Donors Changing Lives

On September 9, 2021, Good News Garage (GNG) celebrated its 25-year anniversary at our Burlington, Vermont headquarters. The event drew dozens of supporters, including founders of the organization, car donors, partners and volunteers. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger joined in the celebration by speaking about the important role that Good News Garage plays in helping low-income neighbors overcome transportation barriers.

The success of Good News Garage and the life-changing services it provides would not be possible without loyal supporters, including car donors and volunteers. Cash Cranson, director of operations at Good News Garage, presented two such volunteers with Extra Mile Awards, acknowledging their commitment to the GNG mission: Corky Van Kleek and Charlie Leeuw.

GNG founder Hal Colston with volunteer Corky Van Kleek, recipient of an Extra Mile Award

At the conclusion of the event, Wanda Robar, program manager at Good News Garage, awarded the organization’s 5,500th car to Mercedeze Moore. Moore is a mother of three from Newport, Vermont who has been without access to reliable transportation for herself and her children. Moore received a donated 2012 Ford Escape with 131,709 miles. This vehicle will enable her to live more independently and put her on the road to financial self-sufficiency. “5,500 cars awarded to our neighbors in need. Would you just think about that for a minute,” said Senator Leahy.

Senator Patrick Leahy speaks with Mercedeze Moore, recipient of GNG’s 5,500th awarded vehicle

The 5,500th car was generously donated by WVNY-TV, which broadcasts locally in Vermont as ABC 22 and Fox 44, and is available online at myChamplainValley.com. The news station was there to cover the event and join in the celebration. Check out their story, “Good News Garage Marks 25 Years by Donating 5,500th Car.”

NECN new’s Jack Thurston also covered the event in this news segment which was broadcast on NBC10 Boston and the local affiliate, NBC5. “I can’t even describe how excited and happy I am,” Moore told NECN’s Thurston. “This is going to open up so many more opportunities for my family.”

The event concluded with attendees enjoying delicious, handmade ice cream served by Lake Champlain Chocolates.

As one of the first charity car donation programs in the county, Good News Garage founder Hal Colston created a model in 1996 that has been replicated by other organizations nationwide. However, car donors should be aware that not all car-donation programs do what Good News Garage does — repair and award as many donated cars as possible to neighbors in need. Many simply sell 100% of the donated cars they receive and often split the proceeds with a middle-man who processes the donations. With increasing competition and skyrocketing prices for both used and new cars driven by a microchip shortage, Good News Garage’s mission is as important today as it was 25 years ago. GNG accepts vehicles from car donors from all over New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and eastern New York. Towing is free and all donations qualify for tax deductions.

Here’s to another 25 years and 5,500 life-changing car donations for our New England neighbors in need!

To view more photos from the event, visit our album on Facebook.