After more than three months of waiting, The Arc of Greater Boone County was able to celebrate Tuesday, March 11, receipt of its new Toyota Sienna van at a special presentation at Andy Mohr Toyota in Avon.
The Arc won the van in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good contest in November. Toyota gives out 100 free vehicles to not-for-profit organizations across the country through a Facebook voting contest. The 250 finalists were divided into groups of five, and each day, beginning Oct. 1, five organizations were up for votes. The top two organizations each day were winners. The Arc came in second place on the very last day of voting.
“So the way I see it is we won the 100th car in a 100-car contest,” said Marcia Clutter, Arc’s community relations director. “The Toyota people got a kick out of that.”
The presentation was “awesome,” Clutter said. Toyota had several executives there, and they gave the Arc staff and clients the royal treatment, she added.
The 2014 Toyota Sienna mobility van gives the Arc something it didn’t have before — a handicap-accessible vehicle. There is a seat that swivels and lowers to the ground, which is even better than a wheelchair ramp, Clutter said. Not many clients are in wheelchairs, but many have other mobility issues.
The new Sienna replaces a 12-year-old van that was purchased used, Clutter said. It had nonfunctioning doors and a broken air conditioning system. The new Sienna also came to the Arc with several upgrades, including leather heated seats, a sunroof and a navigation system, because it was not in the Arc’s requested color. But Clutter doesn’t care about the color now. She said it may even be prettier.
“It’s really perfect,” she said. “Everything is so nice.”
The van is worth more than $35,000, Clutter added. That was the value of the van before the upgrades. The van will be used to take Arc clients to jobs in the Lebanon Business Park, for the Arc’s cleaning company to travel around and clean local businesses, for literacy groups to go to the library and bookstores, and for other community activities.