Mercedes-Benz Dealers of America Donate $100,000 to Scholarship Fund Benefiting Families of Emanuel AME Church Victims
Tommy B. Baker, owner and president of Baker Motor Company of Charleston, Mercedes-Benz of Mount Pleasant, and Baker Buick GMC Cadillac, is honored to announce that on behalf of every Mercedes-Benz dealership in the nation, the 13 member Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board has agreed to make a $100,000 donation to establish a scholarship fund for the families of the nine parishioners who lost their lives during the June 17, 2015 tragedy at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This scholarship fund will serve the victim’s family members with furthering their education beyond high school.
Mr. Baker, a Mercedes-Benz dealer since 1988, wrote a letter last month to Joseph Agresta, Chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board, with the desire to do something that would make a lasting impact on the Charleston community in the wake of the tragedy.
In his letter to the board Mr. Baker stated, “We all know that Charleston has shown the United States and the rest of the world we are a united community with no racial divide. We should honor this spirit of compassion and community with a substantial donation.”
Mr. Baker kindly requested that the remaining balance of a Dealer Action Fund totaling $91,496.55 be contributed as a scholarship fund for the family members of the victims. It was a unanimous “yes” from every single board member. Mr. Baker personally contributed an additional $8,503.45 to increase the fund to an even $100,000.00.
Since 2011, donations from the fund have been made on behalf of the 370 nationwide Mercedes-Benz dealers to various charitable and community causes across the country, including The Children’s Museum of Richmond, The Miami Children’s Hospital and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.
Mr. Baker added, “I want to personally thank every single Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board member and dealership throughout our country for making this happen. It has been incredible to see the outpouring of love that has kept our Charleston community strong. You all have made a lasting impact and positive influence on the city I call home, and I am forever thankful.”
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