HOUSTON, Nov. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Pennzoil ® is proud to announce the donation of three retro-fitted Dodge vehicles to three paralyzed veterans as part of the brand's Long Love Cars campaign, which celebrates the common themes associated with automotive passion, including music and freedom, as well as sharing the joy with others. The vehicles were presented at a ceremony on Veteran's Day prior to the 500-mile race at Phoenix International Raceway. The three veterans were selected from hundreds and received a vehicle of their choosing, retro-fitted to their specific needs.
The freedom of driving can fade when one is physically unable to drive a standard automobile. To help injured veterans regain their driving independence, the makers of Pennzoil donated $100,000 to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) to support the organization's Mission:ABLE program to retro-fit vehicles for injured veterans through the Long Love Cars Contest. Alongside the Long Love Cars contest, Pennzoil donated a portion of each qualifying Pennzoil motor oil purchase at Dollar General stores to the Paralyzed Veterans, which generated an additional $50,000 donation.
"The opportunity to drive again after being injured can drastically improve a person's life and restore their sense of freedom that is often lost after injury," said Bill Lawson, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "These veterans deserve to gain back their driving independence. We appreciate all of the support Pennzoil has given to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and we look forward to continuing our relationship throughout 2013."
The Recipients "The relationship between Pennzoil and the Paralyzed Veterans of America has been more successful than we ever could have hoped. The goal of the Love Long Cars campaign is to celebrate the feeling of freedom generated from driving and the independence it provides," said Bree Sandlin, Pennzoil Global Brand Manager. "These veterans have incredible and inspiring stories, they are more than deserving of a retro-fitted vehicle that could give them back that freedom and love of driving."Jason Morgan, an Air Force veteran and single father of three who received a retrofitted 2012 Ram 1500 ST Pickup, volunteers at his local VA hospital, is a motivational speaker at schools, and in his spare time coaches youth football. "I've always taken great pride in being a dad and a role model. [Receiving a retro-fitted vehicle] will allow me to spend more time with my boys, to guide them and teach them as much as I can before they go out on their own," said Morgan. Lonn Cunningham, a Navy veteran who received a retrofitted 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Minivan, has a long list of places to go and people to see. He would like to resume volunteering at Paralyzed Veterans' events, visit the WWII Memorial, and most importantly, attend his daughter's high school graduation. Receiving a retro-fitted vehicle for Lonn would be life changing. "It will allow me to make as many memories as possible while my daughter is still home. That would make me truly happy," said Cunningham. Ronald Courteau Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who received a retrofitted 2012 Dodge Challenger SXT Coupe, was in danger of losing the few things that give him a sense of independence: his part-time job at Burke Basic School, going to church and running errands. Ronald said if he received a new vehicle, "I'll be able to get the healthcare I need and have better control of my life again. The quality of my life would improve immediately." The donation from Pennzoil was used toward the modifications to each of the retro-fitted vehicles. The veterans all indicated their preference when entering the contest and will be receiving vehicles retro-fitted to their specific needs. Retro-fitting a vehicle typically includes removing seats and installing hand-controls or mounting ramps.