Happy New Year, Naperville!
I actually wish this interview happened on January 1, 2021. What better way to ring in the New Year (I don’t have to state the obvious of this past year), than someone telling you “You made my dream come true!”
Yet this is exactly how my conversation started with John Donarski, the winner of the Turning Pointe 2020 Chevy Corvette raffle. While I picked the winning ticket at random and had several friends hoping it’d be theirs, selecting John’s number was absolutely meant to be.
John is a Naperville resident and to tell this story warms my heart. John is a lifelong Chevy lover and he has never owned a brand-new car. His love affair with Chevrolets started at the age of five when his father bought his mother a brand-new Chevy Camaro. He has been hooked ever since. He bought a used Corvette five years ago and was smitten. John happened to be in the Chevrolet of Naperville dealership for service on his Corvette in November. He was waiting and wandering the showroom floor when he spotted this torch red, limited edition 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. He fell in love and said to himself, “My god this is the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen. I will own this car one day.”
He then saw it was up for raffle. He looked at the Foundation that would benefit and it hit home. He was planning on buying 3 tickets when something spoke to him and said, “It’s worth 5 tickets.” He knew he was helping an amazing cause either way. Little did he know that that car would be his, not one day, but now!
The raffle of the 2020 Torch Red Corvette Convertible Stingray, generously donated by Chevrolet of Naperville, raised over $160,000 for Turning Pointe Autism Foundation and that money will help build-out classrooms to support more individuals with autism. Currently, Turning Pointe has a waitlist and is one of the only therapeutic day schools to be open for in-person instruction of students during the pandemic.
Talking to John made my year. His excitement was infectious. “This is surreal! I am overwhelmed with the whole event and it has been the best experience.” John was so moved by everyone involved that he sent gifts to the Turning Pointe and the Chevrolet of Naperville staff after learning he won. He also was very moved by the individuals it would help. John worked with someone touched by autism years ago and stated that “at that time, there was not this type of caliber of places offering services back then.”
He was so impressed with Turning Pointe that I can happily say, we made a lifelong friend. Hopefully, this summer he’ll come to take us for a ride! Congratulations John Donarski. We are glad the Corvette’s forever home is with you! Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and supported Turning Pointe throughout this challenging year.
A healthy and Happy New Year to all.
Written by Kim Wolf, co-founder of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. To find out more about the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, visit www.turningpointeautismfoundation.org.
This post was originally published January, 2021 in Positively Naperville.