Lakewood Ford celebrates five years

Dealership proud of military relationships

By Heather Short on August 27, 2012

In 2007, the city of Lakewood welcomed its newest addition: Lakewood Ford. Since then, the business has been a valuable asset not only for the Lakewood community, but also for the military community.

Lakewood Ford has sponsored several military charitable golf tournaments, such as the Night Stalker and Purple Heart Association tournaments, as well as softball teams and veterans' groups.

"We can never do enough to give back to the military community," said general manager Henry Krebs, a Vietnam veteran.

Working with the military community is important to Lakewood Ford not only through a business aspect, but also on a personal level. A majority of employees are veterans, including Krebs and new car sales manager Ray Ainsworth.

After being approached with an opportunity to help give back to military families during Thanksgiving, Ainsworth and other Lakewood Ford employees purchased several frozen turkeys from a local grocery store. They brought the turkeys to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to be given to families in need. Lakewood Ford has also helped collect items to be placed in care packages for deployed Soldiers.

"We can never do enough, but we sure do try," Krebs said.

A few years ago, Lakewood Ford donated the use of a passenger van to then-McChord Field's Airmen Against Drunk Driving (AADD) program. The program is designed to eliminate alcohol-involved vehicle incidents by providing rides free of charge to the military and their families.

"This idea really resonated with me. I thought it was a smart idea and good project to be a part of," Krebs said.

AADD volunteers had been using their own vehicles until Krebs and Lakewood Ford donated the passenger van for them to use. The company continues to provide maintenance on the van.

Lakewood Ford has also donated a van to Operation Homefront.

"Donating the vehicles is the easy part," Krebs said. "Being able to help the military community, which is a large part of the community, is part of what (Lakewood Ford) should be."

Lakewood Ford is also heavily involved with the city of Lakewood. It donates to Lakewood, which in turn sponsors six Little League teams and also the Relay for Life cancer walk. The dealership is a member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club as well.

Lakewood Ford stands proudly behind its creed of "Veterans Serving Veterans," and Krebs is excited about the fast-growing Lakewood community and all that it has to offer.

"We think Lakewood is a perfect fit for us," he said. "We will continue to do as much as we can for the community for as long as we can."