Volvo C70 is top prize in Red Cross fundraiser

   For the past four years, Volvo Cars of North America and Long Motor Company have donated a new car for the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey’s annual car raffles. Collectively, the raffles have raised half a million dollars for the chapter’s programs and services.
   This year, Volvo picked a special car — in a very special color — to add a bit of zest to this year’s raffle to help raise additional funding. Volvo Cars of North America and Long Motor Co. will donate a Passion Red 2006 "All New" Volvo C70, a sporty coupe that goes to stylish convertible in less than 30 seconds.
   "It’s two cars in one," said Renee Gilberti, Red Cross blood services coordinator who, along with other staff, volunteers and board members from the chapter, were invited for a first look at the C70 in the showroom at Volvo of Princeton. "It has room for four, but the design is sleek and very sexy. It’s a gorgeous red convertible."
   The 2006 Red Cross Car Raffle has the potential to raise $250,000 for programs and services provided by the chapter locally, including disaster response, emergency preparedness, and health and safety training to inner city youth.
   One Red Cross program that Volvo of Princeton owner David Long hopes to see continued and expanded is the Schools Safety Program, which brings First Aid and CPR courses to teachers and students in inner cities.
   "I worked alongside other area dealerships and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR) to bring this Red Cross Program to the Trenton school district," said Mr. Long. "The Red Cross School Safety Program provided safety information to 6,877 participants last year. Students and teachers alike were very pleased with the program, and two students actually used their newly learned skills to save two lives."
   Through his wife, Lynne, who serves as a board member of the Red Cross of Central Jersey, Mr. Long met Kevin Sullivan, chapter CEO, at a Red Cross kick-off event. Having recently passed through an airport where he saw defibrillator stations ("they looked frightening," he said), Mr. Long asked Mr. Sullivan how the Red Cross trained volunteers to use the life-saving resuscitation devices.
   "Kevin told me that even kids in high school were being trained. I’d never heard of that. I asked, ‘Princeton?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Cranbury?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Trenton?’ ‘No.’ I thought that young people in the inner cities shouldn’t be bypassed because of a lack of funding. So I asked Kevin what we could do," Mr. Long said.
   Mr. Long got on the phone. That was the beginning of NJCAR’s commitment to First Aid and CPR training for students in the state’s urban school districts. The program is active in Trenton and New Brunswick. Next up are Camden, Newark and Paterson, he said.
   A good salesman knows how to put a deal across. Mr. Long drafted a customer of his, NFL quarterback Troy Vincent, a native of Trenton, who was then playing with the Philadelphia Eagles. "He was a great role model," Mr. Long said. "He took the training himself and helped us roll out the program."
   2006 Red Cross Car Raffle tickets will be available for sale in February. Look for raffle information at or call the chapter at 609-951-8550. The drawing will be held on June 5.