While volunteering for the Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing, one of the available raffle items immediately caught the eye of Jenifer Thomas.
It was a raffle for the chance to win a fire truck ride to school courtesy of the Hartland Fire Department.
Jenifer’s son, Noah, is an energetic and fun loving 11 year old boy with autism, who just happens to love all kinds of trucks. And not just regular pickup trucks mind you, but big trucks. And if those big trucks happen to have flashing lights and sirens? Then all the better.
Winning the raffle would be a perfect surprise for Noah.
What Are The Odds?
Wanting to give herself the best chance to win, Jenifer did what any parent would. She bought a handful of the available tickets to stack the odds of winning the fire truck ride in her favor.
Having to leave the golf outing before the raffle winners were drawn, Jenifer gave her stack of tickets to her neighbor, and LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC Sales Professional, Henri Kenneweg for safe keeping.
As Jenifer left the outing, she felt quite confident that she’d be able to tell Noah the good news later that evening. He would be getting a ride to school in a real-life fire truck!
As the golf outing was coming to an end, it was time to draw the winners of all the raffle items.
Henri was confident as he held Jenifer’s raffle tickets waiting for the winning number to be called. In his head, he was already imagining how he would pass on the good news to Jenifer and what her reaction would be.
However, as it happens often times in life, the things we expect to happen don’t.
When the winning ticket was pulled for the fire truck ride to school, Jenifer was not the winner.
Henri couldn’t believe that Jenifer didn’t win, and now he had to relay the unfortunate news back to her.
Hearing the disappointment in her voice, Henri felt terrible that Noah wasn’t going to get his fire truck ride.
Where There’s Hope, There’s Smiles
When Henri got to work the next day, he just couldn’t concentrate on his job. He was still feeling the sting from Jenifer and Noah not winning the fire truck ride to school.
Wanting to do something special for his neighbors, Henri picked up the phone and called Karla Griscom, Business Marketing Coordinator for the LaFontaine Automotive Group.
Henri asked Karla if she thought it would be possible to arrange another fire truck ride for Noah.
Karla, an active member of the Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce, reached out to her connections and soon discovered that they could indeed arrange a fire truck ride.
Karla took care of setting up the ride with the Hartland Fire Department, and now Noah was going to get the best ride to school imaginable.
The Ultimate Car Pool
Noah wanted to share this experience of a lifetime with his schoolmate since kindergarten, Garrett.
So on a bright and sunny morning, a big red fire truck arrived at Noah’s home to pick him and Garrett up and take them to school.
The fire truck crew did more than make the three mile drive from Noah’s home to school.
They showed Noah and Garrett all the cool lights and switches on the outside of the fire truck. They made sure each had an official fireman’s headset to wear while driving in the truck. They even took a detour to Hartland Area Fire Station 61 so the boys could see the station and meet the rest of the crew.
From there it was off to school where Noah and Garrett were greeted by their classmates so everyone could take a closer look at the fire truck.
When it was all said and done, you couldn’t take the smiles off the faces of Noah and Garrett after their thrilling ride to school in a fire truck.
Autism Family Support
While Henri, Karla and the entire LaFontaine Automotive Group were more than happy to help make Noah’s dream to ride in a fire truck come true, the reality is that there’s just so much more than can be done to support autism awareness.
The Autism Family Support Group of Livingston County is a charitable organization created to provide support, policy advocacy and educational resources for Livingston County families, caregivers, individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Autistic Individuals.
About the LaFontaine Automotive Group
Founded in 1980, the award winning and nationally recognized LaFontaine Automotive Group includes 20 franchises in 13 locations across Michigan and employs over 900 people. The “LaFontaine Family Deal” offers customers more than the best price on a new or pre-owned vehicle, it is the attitude and approach to business developed and nurtured by the LaFontaine family.
Our goal is give back to our local communities and to raise monetary donations and awareness to clubs, organizations, and others who are in need. LaFontaine works hard to support our neighbors to better ourselves and those around us. We will try to support as many philanthropic organizations as we can while maintaining a positive and inspiring environment.
If your organization, non-profit or charity event needs support, please take a minute to let us know. Thank you!