Although many people were skeptical when they heard that Toyota was giving away free vans to non-profits with the most on-line votes, the skepticism was put to rest last week when the rubber of a brand new $43,000 Toyota Sienna XL with leather interior met the road at Alaska Christian College, "It's an amazing vehicle with all the bells and whistles, GPS, even an electric mobility chair for handicapped accessibility then they turned around and handed us a 100,000 mile 6-year platinum Toyota warranty to go with it and if that wasn't enough they even filled it up with a free tank of gas," said an elated Keith Hamilton, president of Alaska Christian College (ACC).
Jackie Smith at ACC was the first to hear about the program, "Keith wanted to know if it was for real so I went out on 'snopes.com' to check it out and found out it was real and that Toyota was giving away 100 new vans over 100 days based on daily voting on Toyota's Facebook page. So we enlisted our sponsors and friends and friends of friends and everyone we knew to sign up and vote for us on the 9th of May and as it turned out people locally and across the United States got excited and voted for us. I understand there were 5,000 applicants that were culled down to 500 finalists and then everyday for 100 days and the ones with the most friends won and ACC was one of them," explained Smith.
"We had limited vehicles here and those we have a large 15 passenger vans and its not cost effective for us to hall students to their doctors appointment or the bank one at a time and this will give us the opportunity to save on fuel and have a smaller, safer vehicle to transport our students to where they need to be so it really enhances our transportation options here at ACC," said Hamilton.
From its small beginnings ACC has grown to a full campus with convention center and 14 buildings, next month they will dedicate a new million dollar Student Success Center at the ACC Campus, "We believe we're meeting a great need and reaching across all Alaska to bring native young people here where they have a safe healthy and wholesome campus where they can transition into higher education, prepare for jobs and to return to their villages or serve in any profession they wish to pursue. One of our alumni Rae Fancher was the first native woman to graduate from Annapolis Naval Academy and today is serving our country as an officer with a degree in engineering," added Hamilton. The dedication of the new ACC Student Success Center will be held Friday, November 18th at 4:00pm and Hamilton invites the community and especially all who helped them win the new Toyota van to join them for the celebration.
"We absolutely want to thank everyone who voted for us on facebook and it just goes to show that you just have to have a little faith and believe that what you hear just might be true for things like this to come true," added Jackie Smith.