Ford Friendship Express Program Unveils its "Redesign"

Applications now available for local nonprofits; Recipients to be announced at Buffalo Auto Show in February

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Ford Dealers of Western New York just couldn't wait to announce that applications are now available for the 2012 Ford Friendship Express program -- an annual program that provides "new wheels" to local nonprofit organizations in need of transportation.

"For nearly two decades, the WNY Ford Dealers have awarded new Ford vehicles to deserving organizations in our community," said Scott Bieler, chairman, Ford Friendship Express selection committee. "Each year, we look forward to handing over the keys to the recipients knowing that the vans will be put to good use."

Local nonprofits familiar with Ford Friendship Express may notice slight changes to the program:
 Applications are now available in October
 The deadline is now December 15 (formerly March 1)
The new timeframe allows the Ford Dealers to award vehicles during the Buffalo Auto Show in February, rather than during the summer, as they've done in the past.

"We're excited to host the giveaway during one of our favorite events of the year, the Buffalo Auto Show," said Bieler. "It adds a new level of excitement to be able to tell the Ford Friendship Express story while surrounded by car enthusiasts and Ford fans."

Since its inception in 1996, the Ford Friendship Express program has awarded 65 vans valued at more than $1 million to area groups.

In 2011, Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services, Be-a-Friend/Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Eden took home new Ford vans. Additional past recipients include: Homespace Inc., Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northtowns, Computers for Children, Kids Escaping Drugs, SABAH, Meals on Wheels of Buffalo and Erie County, Friends of the Night People, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, Camp Good Days & Special Times, Student Union at SUNY at Buffalo, Goodwill Industries of Western New York, Rural Transit Service, American Red Cross, The Buffalo Zoo and many more.

Applications and guidelines are available at www.wnyford.com under the "local events" tab. All applications from organizations residing in Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, McKean, and Potter counties must be returned and received by December 15, 2011 to be eligible for consideration for the 2012 program. Please send completed applications to: Ford Friendship Express Program, 50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 1000, Buffalo, NY 14202.

About the Western New York Ford Dealers
The Western New York Ford Dealers are part of the Western New York Ford Stores, an advertising cooperative comprised of 31 dealer locations that provides support for Ford vehicle sales and service in the 13 counties of Western New York and Rochester, and two counties in Northern Pennsylvania.