Local Holiday Gas Giveaway brings warm hearts and full tanks (Audio and video included)
12/18/2013 5:07:12 PM
By Joel Penhorwood
Smiles and backed up traffic were the defining points of a Huntsville event Wednesday afternoon.
The Richwood Banking Company gave out 200 gift cards worth $20 of fuel at the Huntsville Marathon Gas Station for their Holiday Gas Giveaway. Employees started pumping gas slightly before two o’clock Wednesday for the lucky ones lined up for free fuel. Even Santa Claus lent a hand.
Tai Wills is director of marketing for Richwood Baking Company. She says with it being only a week before Christmas, the giveaway of $4000 worth of gas was designed to spread holiday cheer and help lift some financial strain off of community members.
“The community is very important to us and we’re always trying to do things that are not bank-ish,” Wills said. “Normal banking is sometimes perceived as boring. We try to be different. We try to have all kinds of events throughout the year.
“This is something that we all have our Santa hats on and we’re all geared up and ready for Christmas.”
Chief Development Officer Heather Wirtz added that, along with the goal of increasing Christmas spirit, the event is part of a promotion of “Buzz Points,” an initiative of the company to help out area businesses by encouraging shopping locally.
Listen to Tai Wills and Heather Wirtz talk about the Richwood Banking Company’s Holiday Gas Giveaway
The line waiting for free fuel wrapped around an outbuilding behind the gas station. Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office were on duty to help direct backed up Huntsville traffic and make sure the event preceded smoothly. A line of vehicles
Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies were handed out to those waiting in line.
Sheryl Robinson of Lakeview was the first recipient of free fuel. She waited in line for over two hours for the chance to be number one.
Robinson wanted to thank the organizers of the event for the opportunity. With Christmas just a few days away, she noted she was “Very grateful” saying any bit of financial assistance helps, especially since she receives disability payments.
Listen to Sheryl Robinson talk about what it meant to be the first recipient
Dale Clary of rural Bellefontaine was another free gas recipient. Clary, who had been waiting in line for about an hour, says it especially helps with the running back and forth from town for Christmas presents.
“I appreciate them doing it. It helps out everybody. The people who don’t have gas to get around, it’s good for them,” he said.
Listen to Dale Clary on how the giveaway helps out the community
Another recipient was Zanesfield area resident Carolyn Stewart who said the event helped to rally her holiday cheer. She, like many others, was thankful for the helpers pumping gas.
Carolyn Stewart talks about how she feels to be receiving free fuel
Richwood Banking Company has six locations, one of them located in Huntsville.
This is not the first event of its kind the business has put on. A similar affair happened about two years ago to celebrate the opening of a branch in Delaware.
It took about an hour to for the 200 recipients of gas to be served and sent on their way.
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Watch a brief glimpse of the event, including Santa pumping gas