Auto Dealer Finds A School Need, Fills It
By MARISSA CATALANO Windward School District assistant
What began as a $78 contribution by Windward Dodge Chrysler Jeep (aka Windward Auto Sales) three years ago has become a regular donation averaging $250 per month, fulfilling the needs of Windward District special education students through Peter’s Special Project.
The son of Windward Auto’s Jerry Romano, Peter was a special-needs student in the district, who died in 2012. Teachers and donors cried, remembering Peter and sharing stories about him at the district’s donation event last month.
Romano and his co-workers now are addressing students’ needs by providing supplies to Castle, Kahuku, Kalaheo and Kailua high schools. Funds for many of these supplies had previously come from teachers’ pockets.
“I remember how hard it was to get the services Peter needed,” his dad explained, noting that “You never have to worry about the one-time thing with us because we’re here for a long time.” With up to $10 from every car sale at the Kahuhipa Street dealership going to Peter’s Special Project, the company is committed to the students.
“We want to find solutions to the problems so teachers can help special needs students more effectively,” added Mike Torres of Windward Auto Sales. “Simplicity increases efficiency.”
District educational specialist Beverly Reidy described the simple process: “We give a list, Mike does the shopping — it’s really easy. Sometimes they see our needs even if we don’t ask.”
Teachers’ lists, for which the company then shops, include supplies for cleaning, home and personal hygiene as well as groceries and iTunes gift cards.