Perrysburg senior wins Hyundai Elantra from TaylorWritten by Mary Petrides | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Perrysburg High School seniors gathered in the high school auditorium to watch their class video as part of their May 26 senior day celebration. Hidden behind the curtain were three new Hyundai cars — and a senior was about to win one of them.
Michael Skaff, 18, drove away a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. The car was valued at about $19,000.
“Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. I was shocked. I still think it’s unbelievable,” Skaff said.
Steve Taylor, owner of Taylor Automotive Group in Perrysburg, had heard about another car dealership giving away cars as a promotion. He discussed the idea with a parent group at Perrysburg High School.
“We’ve had a great year with Hyundai. Hyundai’s got nothing but fantastic press, great reviews,” Taylor said. “I thought it’d be good to give back to the community that gave back to us.”
This isn’t the first time the dealership has given back. Taylor Automotive has sponsored school athletic teams, yard signs for graduates and the “Sundaes from Hyundai” program where grade-school students earn ice cream for good grades.
“We’ve been involved in quite a few things in the community and schools,” Taylor said. But this is the first time they’ve given away a car.
Since the beginning of the school year, Perrysburg seniors who showed good attendance, good academics and good participation in extracurricular activities could earn entries into the drawing for the car. Michael Short, the high school’s principal, said students who had disciplinary problems were automatically eliminated from the drawing.
From about 350 seniors, Taylor said, there were about 2,000 entries.
All year, seniors knew one of them would win the car, and Skaff said it frequently came up in conversation.
“We talked about it all the time,” he said.
He said students worked harder to get As because of the drawing.
After the senior day video, the curtain was pulled back, revealing three cars. Taylor drew 10 names from the pool. Those 10 students were called on stage, and each drew one envelope. Seven envelopes contained gift cards and three contained keys. The students with keys each chose a car and tried to start it. Skaff’s key started the engine and he won the car.
“It was shocking. It was very shocking, unbelievable,” Skaff said.
His friends were also excited about his win, he said.
“They were just as shocked as I was,” he said. “They just started asking me for rides and taking them places and whatnot. They still do.”
Taylor said the Elantra was chosen because it would please both high school students and their parents.
“That car’s won all sorts of awards as far as safety and reliability,” he said. “It’s got a good body design and a good style. We thought it was something a high school senior would be excited to drive, and also something the parents would like.”
Skaff said he drove a 1996 Mazda before he won the Elantra.
“My favorite part [of the Elantra] is the power windows, because in my old car there weren’t any power windows,” he said. He had to open his old car’s windows manually.
“Cruse control,” he added. “I didn’t have cruise control in my old car, either.”
Taylor said the dealership has already committed to donating another car next year, but he wants to amp up promotion of the giveaway throughout the year.
“What I want to do is get more involved,” he said, “[to] keep it fresh in their mind that one of these seniors is going to win this car.”
He said he’s thought about doing “some promotional-type things” at football and basketball games.
“We don’t really know what they’re going to be yet,” he said. “We’ve got some crazy ideas up our sleeve.”
This fall, Skaff will drive the Elantra to Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, where he plans to study video game animation.
Tags: Taylor Automotive