Rockland Standard Newspaper feature

Those who bought a Subaru in the past two-and-a-half months donated to charity without spending a dime.

Hanover's Planet Subaru partnered with The Trustees and the Standish Humane Society for its ninth-annual Share the Love event from Nov. 17, 2016 to Jan. 3, 2017.

Subaru of America created the promotion where $250 was donated to four national charities with each sale or lease made during that time period at the customer's choosing. This year, customers chose between the ASPCA, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels and the National Park Foundation.

Three years ago, individual dealerships were allowed to pick a local charity as well, with Planet Subaru picking the Standish Humane Society.

This year, the Hanover car dealership was able to choose a second charity, choosing The Trustees, a land preservation group with several areas near the South Shore, including the Norris Reservation in Norwell, the Ames Estate in Easton, World's End and Weir River Farm in Hingham, the Bradley Estate in Canton and Moose Hill Farm in Sharon.

"Most of our customers are choosing the local ones," said Planet Subaru President Jeff Morrill. "It's natural that you'd expect people in a community to want to see the dollars spent closer to home. You can't go wrong with any of the charities that would serve the needs of people, or in some cases, animals."

Morrill said he expects Planet Subaru to raise between $40,000-$50,000 for the six charities. The decision to choose a local charity that deals with the preservation of land was deliberate, as the sale, operation, and fueling of automobiles is costly to the environment, Morrill recognizes.

Planet Subaru was the first Subaru dealership in the world to be powered entirely by solar panels.

"The idea that we can devote dollars to setting aside land permanently for preservation is a nice fit to offset some of the inherent impact that our business operations has on the environment," he said, "despite all of the efforts we make to minimize them."

The Trustees, which was founded in 1891, is an organization that preserves and cares for 116 outdoor properties throughout Massachusetts and is celebrating its 125th year. The Trustees was the world's first land-preservation non-profit organization and are the largest conservation and preservation society in Massachusetts. They have offices in Sharon, Beverly and Leominster.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with them," said Trustees Director of Institutional Partnerships Grace Fauver. "Our goals are so well aligned in terms of their product, which is all about getting people outdoors and that's our mission as well. We are able to work together to help make people aware of the campaign. They are able to make their customers aware of the Trustees and the support they are going to be giving us through the Share the Love campaign.

"We are connecting people to nature and outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture and healthy living," Fauver said. "We are all about getting people outside and preserving our natural areas across the commonwealth."

Planet Subaru has donated $99,000 to the Standish Humane Society, located in Duxbury, over the past three years, according to Standish board member and Planet Subaru purchase partner Klaire Perkins.

"It is all a natural fit," said Perkins. "I bought a Subaru from here and thought it would be a great place to work. Plus, they often have dogs here, so it just all worked."

Between 92 to 94 percent of all money donated to the Standish Humane Society goes to the care of animals, according to Perkins. This is in large part to the work of volunteers at the shelter.




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