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Ewald donates more than $100K to community

Family company says giving back is a tradition

Ewald Automotive Group announced the total of their charitable giving at a news conference at Ewald Chevrolet in Oconomowoc Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The Ewald's have donated over $156,000 to local groups and charities. Pictured from left are Brian Ewald, Craig Ewald, Tom Ewald, and Dan Ewald, not pictured is Emil Ewald.

Ewald Automotive Group announced the total of their charitable giving at a news conference at Ewald Chevrolet in Oconomowoc Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The Ewald's have donated over $156,000 to local groups and charities. Pictured from left are Brian Ewald, Craig Ewald, Tom Ewald, and Dan Ewald, not pictured is Emil Ewald. Photo By Todd Ponath

Feb. 18, 2013

Give back. It's a simple concept that is ingrained in Ewald Automotive Group's business practices that has generated significant support for the community. On Friday, Ewald brothers Tom, Craig, Dan and Brian ceremoniously gathered to present $156,375 to 46 area organizations.

The support is diverse and something that leaves a legacy for the business started by their father, Emil Ewald, 49 years ago. In the last two years, Ewald has contributed $366,375 to charitable efforts. While their father could not be there Friday, his sons said the occasion marks a strong tradition the company founder established.

"A very important part of what he, (Emil), instilled in us is it's very important to give back, to put something back" to the communities Ewald is a part of, which spans Lake Country as well as Watertown, Hartford and Metro-Milwaukee area, said Craig Ewald.

"We have targeted donations to charities who will do the very best for people," he added.

The company's culture is to create a constant reciprocal relationship to those who live in the area and support their business. "We draw on the community every day, and we give back every day," said Craig Ewald.

Ewald experienced its fair share of hard knocks during the economic turmoil over the last several years. Craig Ewald explained that in 2007-08 when Chrysler and GM filed for bankruptcy, Ewald chose to go forward with expansion and renovation of the dealerships - and "we never laid off one person," he said.

At that time, it renovated its Franklin dealership, last year completed a complete overhaul of its Chevrolet dealership in Oconomowoc Lake, and also razed a building adjacent to the local dealership expanding to build a Kia dealership that added 45 jobs.

It's about "looking through the windshield and not in the rearview mirror," as Craig Ewald puts it, and it improves the company all the way around.

Tom Ewald further explained that by updating, improving and expanding its facilities, Ewald is improving the customer experience and the experience for those who work there.

"The presentation of this gift to the community today is the culmination of all the effort of our employees too. Without them we wouldn't be able to succeed," Tom Ewald said.

Continuing their drive for success and service, Craig Ewald said the company will continue its program of giving back and is always looking for things to support that will benefit the community. "We're always looking at something that is going to be very beneficial for people. We're interested in helping and supporting quite a diverse mix of things that can mean a lot of people are positively affected," he said.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Rotary Pancake Day: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 28, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Fundraiser for the Waukesha Rotary Club is 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expo Center Arena. Advance tickets at Waukesha State Bank, downtown location., $5-$7. $5 advance, $7 at the door; free for children 5 and younger. www.waukesharotary.org.

Ninth Annual Oconomowoc Rotary Wine & Brew Fest: 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc. Wine, food and beer. Features foods from the best of our local restaurants. Purchase tickets at $50 from an O-Town Rotarian, through Facebook, or in person at most area First Bank Financial Centre locations, Books & Company & Lorleberg True Value Hardware. See more at www.oconomowocrotary.org. $50.

Chili Tasting: 11 a.m. Feb. 28, The Garden Mart, W297 S9115 Highway 83, Mukwonago. Chili tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors will be selling unique merchandise. Judging is open to the public and all proceeds from voting will be donated to the Mukwonago Food Pantry. Event is free. Call (262) 363-5252 for information.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash Literacy Event: 10 a.m. Feb. 28, Hartland North Elementary, 232 Church Street, Hartland. Families with children in 4-year old kindergarten through second grade are invited to a special event. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will celebrate with a big birthday cake for all of our guests along with lots of literacy activities based around Dr. Seuss books.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.