STEUBENVILLE - The way Steve Diomedi sees it, being a part of a community carries responsibility as well as rewards.
Diomedi, general manager of the Yes TEAM Family of Dealerships, said it's why they're always looking at ways to give back to a community that's given them so much.
"It's where we live, too," he said. "Everybody who works here - and we have more than 100 people - is from here, too, so we're not just giving back as a business, but as a community, too."
Looking over the 2003 Toyota Camry donated by the Yes TEAM Family of Dealerships for this year's 'Two Great Causes, One Giant Holiday Auction,' slated for 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Fort Steuben Mall, are, from left, Tricia Maple, a board member of the Jefferson County Chapter of the American Red Cross and owner of the Inn at Brandywine; Cindy Kotsch, special projects director the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times; Jim Conrad, Red Cross board member; and Steve Diomedi, Yes TEAM general manager. Proceeds from the auction, which will include signed prints, Amish-made furniture, gift certificates and gift baskets, will be divided between the local Red Cross chapter and the literacy program sponsored by the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. -- Linda Harris
This year, the Yes TEAM is donating a car, a 2003 Toyota Camry with a little more than 82,000 miles on its odometer, to the "Two Great Causes, One Giant Holiday Auction," slated for 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Fort Steuben Mall. Proceeds will benefit the Jefferson County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the literacy program sponsored by the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.
Last year's auction raised more than $15,000, which was divided between the programs.
"It's a great cause, and we'd like to give something back to our community," Diomedi said. "The Camry's dependable, and it's been fully serviced. Whoever buys it won't have to do anything to it."
Diomedi said the Toyota that will be auctioned this year is a worthy follow-up to the 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix TEAM donated in 2011. That car alone raised $8,800 for the Red Cross and literacy programs.
"We searched through our inventory (for the right vehicle)," Diomedi said, "and the Camry is the one we came up with."
Other items going on the auction block include Dave Barnhouse prints, Amish furniture and gift baskets, all donated by Tri-State Area merchants.
"This year, we have more than 150 items collected so far," said Kathy Musso, executive director of the Red Cross chapter. "We have Amish-made furniture, sports items, food baskets, restaurant gift certificates, jewelry - just such a wide variety of things. There will be something for everyone, put it that way."
Musso said the car will be displayed in the mall prior to the auction, which will be handled by Cain Realtors and Auctioneers.
"It's a great place for people to do their Christmas shopping," she said. "We rely on it to raise additional funds for operations, whether that's providing assistance to fire victims so they have a safe place stay, helping keep the office running smoothly, and providing a communications link for military personnel. These funds are combined with individual donations and our allocation from the United Way."
Musso said the auction "is a way to help the community, have a good time and make new friends."
"Many of our attendees come almost every year," she said. "People do a great deal of their Christmas shopping at the auction - there are some great buys."
John Hale, circulation director for the newspapers, said the literacy program currently serves students in 18 area schools.
"Our literacy program is an important part of what we do," Hale said. "Each week, more than 600 newspapers are distributed to students in schools throughout the Tri-State Area."
(Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)