EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 1, 2012

Kelly donation keeps school program alive

Auto Scene
Jeffrey Zygmont

---- — After riding in early this year to help save the after-school program at Higgins Middle School, Peabody, the Kelly Automotive Group made a second, large donation to assure that activity remains available to students.

The Nighthawk After-School Program, operated by the Peabody chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, Mass., was established in 2007 to provide a safe, constructive environment for children after daily dismissal, and to encourage habits that would contribute to their academic success. But budget cuts closed the program in 2011.

It reopened in March after Kelly Automotive made a contribution to fund its operations. On Oct. 24, Brian Kelly, president of the dealer group, and other Kelly executives, presented an additional $25,000 donation to the program. The money was raised through a giving pledge that sets aside $50 every time one of Kelly’s eight dealerships sells a vehicle to a Peabody resident.

Brain Kelly presented the check at the small ceremony attended by administrators of Higgins Middle School and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as students benefiting from the contribution. Also attending the event were Brian Heney, Kelly director of operations, and Brenden Kelly, sales consultant at Kelly Volkswagen and member of the Kelly family that owns the dealership group.

“He’s going to be a member of the organization for a long time to come, so we include him in a lot of these events so he can see how good it feels to give something back,” said Heney.

The operations manager explained that the Higgins Middle School contribution is part of a larger charitable program at Kelly.

“There are about 400 people in our organization. We all live and work in these communities, so we support them. We do as much as we can do to help make sure they’re always improving,” said Heney. “We like to support the communities that support us.”

Other recent Kelly initiates include sponsorship of the Beverly Special Needs Track and Field squad at the 2012 Special Olympics Summer Games, donations to Lynn Youth Soccer, and a $20,000 contribution to the Beverly High School Turf Field Project, which maintains athletic playing fields.

The Kelly Automotive Group operates Kelly Fiat of Peabody, Kelly Honda of Lynn, Kelly Infiniti of Danvers, Kelly Jeep Chrysler of Lynnfield, Kelly Nissan of Beverly, Lynnfield and Woburn, and Kelly Volkswagen of Danvers.

Gas prices drop

Regional and national pump prices decreased last week for the eighth consecutive week. Price tracking by the auto club AAA showed that self-service regular gas edged lower by more than 2 cents per gallon across Massachusetts and New Hampshire over the seven-day span ending Wednesday. The decrease put the average price for self-service regular below $3.50 per gallon in New Hampshire. However, the Massachusetts average remains a dime above that level.

AAA put the Massachusetts state-wide average at $3.600 for self-service regular gas on Wednesday. That was 2.5 cents lower than the prior Wednesday’s figure of of $3.625 per gallon. Wednesday’s Bay State average remained 23.3 cents higher than the same day of 2011, when AAA published a figure of $3.367.

In New Hampshire, the average fell by an identical figure of 2.5 cents per gallon. But the drop brought the Granite State average to $3.491 on Wednesday, compared to $3.516 seven days earlier, the auto club reported. On the same day last year, the Granite State average of $3.319 was 17.2 cents lower than Wednesday’s figure.

Nationally, drivers paid an average of $3.415 for self-service regular gas on Wednesday, down 1.1 cents from the prior week’s level of $3.426. On the same day of 2011, the coast-to-coast average of $3.295 was 12.0 cents lower than Wednesday’s level.