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Mullen resident wins carTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Scott Chase gets a hug from Crystal Hessin
Photo by Joe Chitwood
The 2002 Dodge Durango
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Julie Chase, from left, Jamie Piper, Crystal, Samuel and Jim Hessin and Scott Chase.

Mullen resident Crystal Hessin was presented the keys to a 2002 Dodge Durango Saturday at the third annual Keith’s Body Shop “Wheel’s to Prosper” car giveaway.

Hessin, her husband and three children received the Sport Utility Vehicle.

“We were shocked and blessed beyond measure,” Hessin said. “It came at just the right time. We are really in need of a vehicle. Our entire family doesn’t fit in the vehicle we own. When we have to travel, we have to borrow a car.”

She said her friend Kelly Garcia, who nominated her, told her she had to be in North Platte for the award.

Body shop owner Scott Chase said they usually try to surprise the winner, but since the Hessins had to travel from Mullen, they made an exception.

Garcia said she nominated the Hessin family because, “they are deserving and had a need.”

“I just wrote my letter and prayed about it,” she said.

Hessin and her husband Jim are employed at the Mullen rest home. She is a cook and he is in maintenance.

They have three children, one-year old Anna, Samuel, four and Nathan who is six. One child is autistic. They have a service dog and need a big car.

“We are so thankful,” Crystal said.

“It is the first SUV we have given away and it is going to a family that really needs and deserves it,” Shop manager Jamie Piper said. “They will get full use out of it.”

Chase thanked everyone who made nominations.

“Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedules to write letters. There are so many deserving people in this and surrounding communities that I would just love to be able to donate a car to each one, but unfortunately we had to narrow it down to one.”

Chase presented the keys to Hessin and told her to put the car to good use.

“We appreciate you guys so much,” he said. “Thanks for all the hard work you do in the Mullen area, you are certainly deserving of this,” he said.

“Thank you so very much,” she said. “My new favorite color is black.”

Chase said nomination letters start arriving in February.

“It’s kind of a neat deal how it worked out,” he said. “We don’t know who we are going to give it to until the week before.”

“We had so many this year it was just fantastic, and it is hard to narrow it down to one with so many qualified people. But through the committee we did,” he said.

He said the committee reads each letter of nomination and narrows the field down to three before making the final selection.

The body shop started offering the Wheels to Prosper program three years ago.

A friend of Chases in California started the program and “there are now about 65 shops around the USA that participate,” Chase said. “Most of them are giving their cars away today.”

“We just love to give back to the community,” he said. “That’s what it is all about. North Platte has been good to us so we want to support the city and the area.”

“Tomorrow we start over again, looking for a vehicle for next year,” Chase said. “I need to thank my crew for volunteering their work on the car, along with All Star Auto Glass, Keystone Automotive, Art’s Automotive and State Farm Agent Bobbi Campbell.”

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/29/2017
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