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That was the scene at Harrah’s Atlantic City on Nov. 14 when two CEOs, each with more than 30 years of experience running top limousine companies, tried to outbid and one-up each other at a National Limousine Association charity auction event being held for the group’s Harold Berkman Memorial Fund, the industry’s philanthropic arm that donates to a variety of charities. The auction was held during the annual LCT People’s Choice Awards at the annual LCT-NLA Show East.
Dawson Rutter, founder and CEO of Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation in Boston, and his friendly rival George Jacobs, founder and CEO of Windy City Limousine in Chicago, vied for a 2017 Lincoln Continental sedan donated by Ford/Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles. The Continental has become the most coveted and talked-about livery luxury car of the moment since its rollout to limousine operators in September.
Rutter and George, along with several other operators, leaped into the auction ring for the Continental, which was set at a minimum bid of $45,000. After all the bidders shouted out incremental bids of $500 or $1,000, the two industry leaders raised the stakes on the $51,000 MSRP vehicle to $72,000. Their high bids were in part spurred by the prospect of an LCT cover feature article, thrown-in as a further enticement by LCT Publisher and Show Chairwoman Sara Eastwood-Richardson.
The auction followed another unprecedented charity moment for the 31-year-old association: Its Berkman Fund donated a total of $90,000 — $30,000 each — to three charities: St. Jude’s Children's Hospital, Fisher House Foundation, and City of Hope.
To see a video from the event on the LCT Facebook page, click here.
"Being on Charity conference calls monthly, it's just amazing for me to see this committee's work pay off with the largest success ever at this year's LCT/NLA East,” NLA President Gary Buffo said. “I've been going to shows for 23 years, and have never witnessed the excitement and passion our members gave this year. Robert Alexander and Ron Stein (co-Chairs), coupled with Ford Motor Company, and their new amazing Lincoln Continental, absolutely catapulted this year's auction to new heights. This was the most fun and exciting show event I've ever been to.”
Related Topics: Atlantic city, charity, Craig Hall, Dawson Rutter, donations, Ford, fundraiser, Gary Buffo, George Jacobs, Harold Berkman Memorial Fund, industry charity, LCT-NLA Show East, Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles, Lincoln-Continental, National Limousine Association, Robert Alexander, Ron Stein, Sara Eastwood-Richardson
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