November 27, 2014
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT (November 27, 2014) – CARSTAR West Valley has once again touched the lives of a family in need. Just in time for Thanksgiving, the family-run shop, with the help of several vendors and partners, gathered together to donate a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan to a Utah family in desperate need of reliable transportation.
Linda Ellison and her two sons, Bryan and Lynn, own and operate West Valley CARSTAR, and giving back to their community is high on the priority list. When Bryan Ellison had the opportunity to purchase a wrecked vehicle that a customer no longer wanted, he knew it would be the perfect project for another car donation.
The 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan was not a total loss. It was slightly wrecked on one side, and had an interior that was in “like new” condition, according to Ellison. He quickly enlisted several vendors to donate parts and services, and the repair process began.
Next, it was time to find the right family for the donation. For that, Ellison enlisted the help of local radio station, KBER 101, who asked their listeners to nominate a deserving family. After going through the 51 nominations that came in, the Frisk family was chosen for the donation.
Gary and Jen Frisk have three children who suffer from a rare white blood cell disease called Eosiniphilic Esophagitis and Eosiniphilic Gastroenteritis. All three children have asthma, eczema, and other aero digestive conditions they each deal with individually. The children are hardly able to eat any food, and survive off of an expensive elemental formula that is not covered under insurance.
On top of the huge medical bills, multiple hospital visits, and the hard work that goes into lovingly caring for their children, Gary and Jen have also had their own medical setbacks. Gary recently recovered from bladder cancer, and has to have check-ups every three months. Jen has also struggled through her own medical issues, having had four surgeries in the past three years.
While CARSTAR West Valley did much of the work in their collision repair shop, several other vendors stepped up to help with the repair. Larry H. Miller Chrysler donated every OEM part that Ellison asked for, from moldings, to door handles, and more. Parts Chain donated the body panels needed for the repair. Big O Tires West Valley took care of any mechanical issues, plus put new tires, brakes, and wiper blades on the van. They also offered free oil changes for a year, and paid to license and register the vehicle. California Audio tinted the windows, and Sherwin Williams gave credit for the paint. Troy Ricks Farmers Insurance Agency was also a big supporter of the project.
In addition to the van, CARSTAR West Valley had enough gas cards donated to take care of the Frisk family for the next year.
“We’ve been blessed. The community has done a lot for us,” said Bryan Ellison. “We’ve been here for 38 years, and I had told all of my people that I would like to do this twice a year. When you give away something like this, it makes you realize how thankful and grateful you are for what you do have.”
This is not the first time this year that CARSTAR West Valley has given back to their community. In June, they rebuilt and donated a 2009 Buick Lucerne to a family in the process of adopting a teenager with a troubled home life. In July, they rebuilt and upgraded a 2006 Dodge 2500 for a local hero who wrecked his truck while stopping a crime in progress.
CARSTAR West Valley is already working on another vehicle donation for December.