Rene Hopkins considers the folks at Master Buick Pontiac GMC an ally.
That's why the coordinator of Safe Kids East Central nominated the Martinez dealership as the 2008 Community Partner of the Year from Safe Kids Georgia.
"It is easy for us," said George Sleister, Master Automotive's general manager. "We enjoy doing it."
One of many nominees statewide, Master Automotive recently won the honor.
"They were and continue to be an outstanding community partner for us," Hopkins said.
Hopkins said the dealership was named the 2007 local Community Partner and has been the site of many child safety seat checks. She said Sleister and the other employees at Master Automotive are always willing to help the nonprofit agency.
"The last thing he (Sleister) says to me every time I call him, without fail, is, 'What else do you need?' " Hopkins said. "Without fail."
Sleister said Master Automotive has been involved with Safe Kids for many years after the organization asked to hold a child safety seat check there.
The dealership became a permanent site for the annual event.
"It has just been a win-win for both of us, because they have a place to come and we're glad for them to come, because it brings people here who have never been here before," Sleister said.
Hopkins said Master Auto-motive donated space to store the 800 booster seats she purchased with a grant.
A car seat safety display is usually in the showroom and the company frequently supplies Safe Kids with a vehicle to use in safety seat demonstrations and other educational programs, Hopkins said.
In December, the dealership donated funds to purchase 150 bicycle helmets for the annual Safe Kids bike rodeo, which distributes refurbished bikes to needy children.
"I know I can count on them," Hopkins said. "They are the kind of partners an organization like Safe Kids only dreams about. I happened to be lucky enough to have one of them."
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