Donated to the organization by Jerry Robinson and Strategic Contract Resources, Advocates Executive Director Patty Eagar said her organization will raffle off the electric car with $10 tickets in the hopes of collecting enough money to put toward a minivan, or similar vehicle. Although Advocates has a bus, she said, it’s not efficient enough for everyday use.
“We transport kids ... to their home schools. When they end up having to live at the shelter, if at all possible, we keep them in the school of origin, so that’s not one more separation and loss that they have to deal with,” she said. “So our staff, our shelter staff, drives all over the county every day — to Adairsville and Cass and Pine Log and wherever the kids happen to be in school, taking them there in the morning and brining them back in the afternoon.
“We have a bus — it’s a small bus, but it’s getting old and it’s very non-efficient. We don’t want to drive the 13-passenger bus to Adairsville with two kids in it, or three kids in it. So we’ve had our staff driving in their own cars, driving kids to all these different schools, and that gets expensive, too. So we really need a vehicle that the kids will not be embarrassed to be seen in and that will get better mileage and be a more reasonable-sized vehicle.”
The shelter previously had a sedan to transport children, Eagar continued, but it was scrapped after it broke down more than a year ago.
The Wheego LiFe, Eagar said, will run approximately 100 miles on a single charge and it can be plugged into a household outlet. Its speed is limited to 64 mph.
Robinson, whose company provides personnel for the power and petrochemical industry, saw donating the car as a way to give back to an organization he has supported for the last four or five years.
“I’m a believer in what Advocates is all about, what they do and how they serve the community. I’m a fan of their programs, and being in the raffle business I thought that the connection between being able to offer an electric car as a raffle kind of tied into our business. But also it was just a great opportunity to give back a little bit to the local community,” he said.
According to Wheego’s website, the LiFe retails for $32,995 plus freight and options, and before the federal tax credit for electric vehicles. Using a 220- or 240-volt outlet, it can charge from 50 percent to 100 percent in five hours.
“It’s a privately held company here that operates out of Atlanta,” Robinson said. “... What they do is convert a car into an electric car through the use of batteries and a motor. So it’s a very interesting little vehicle. It’s all fully licensed and safety checked.”
Raffle tickets are available on Advocates for Children’s website, www.advochild.org, under the events page. The drawing will be held March 21 during the Every Child’s a Star talent show.