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Driving For Charity 

by Clint Burgess & r & There is a lot of money floating around the car business. It is no secret that cars are expensive and dealers are in the business to make a dollar. While it may seem like it is every man for himself in the high-stakes, fast-paced world of automobile sales, there are a number of local dealers who give of their time and resources on a regular basis.


Many of the local owners and families involved in the dealerships quietly make themselves and their funds available to local charities and nonprofit organizations. Just one of the events local dealerships are involved in is the annual WFS Financial golf tournament. This event supports a different local charity each year; it's a way for local businesses to give something back to the communities that support them.


Like many charity events, the golf tournament is a blend of competition and good fun. Everyone involved is out to help the charity, but when you throw golf into the mix, there is bound to be a little friendly competition. The company that sponsors the event each year, WFS Financial, is a national auto finance company that serves the greater Spokane area. WFS has been in the auto business for 30 years and works closely with numerous dealerships to offer financing to potential customers. The company understands the importance of building and maintaining a reputation in a community like Spokane. Not only is WFS helping auto buyers to purchase their vehicles, they are also giving back to the community by sponsoring this yearly event.


This year's charity, Northwest Autism, was chosen by WFS for a special reason. Jamie Lacher, regional business development manager for WFS, explains: "There is an individual at our office whose son was recently diagnosed with autism. That hit close to home for us and is what led us to choose Northwest Autism as our charity this year." Northwest Autism is a regional organization that provides many valuable resources to individuals and families dealing with those who suffer from autism.


Autism is a developmental disability that affects the neurological function of the brain. It can manifest in different severities and affect the individual in a variety of ways. Sufferers can range in age and gender, but it has been found to more prevalent in boys. There are more than 500,000 people in the United States who suffer from autism. Northwest Autism is involved in educating families about the different behaviors and disabilities that are associated with autism. The organization is also a valuable tool in locating resources to individuals and families dealing with the disability.


The tournament is happening again at the Fairways at West Terrace in Cheney on Sept. 7. It's a scramble format, meaning there's sure to be a scramble for a few errant balls that wandered out of the fairway. The tournament itself will be followed by a barbecue, and there will be prizes for teams with the low scores for the day. Pairing a fun atmosphere with an event for charity is a great way to spend a day and be a philanthropist. It is also a way for local businesses to show their support for a worthy cause. Lacher is pleased to be part of the tournament. "It's been a really great event for us to be a part of."

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