From helping customers find quality, used vehicles to offering optional service contracts, America’s Car-Mart works hard to keep its customers on the road. And for Larry Stubblefield, it’s more than selling cars, it’s also about community. So, when it comes to lending a helping hand, he’s all in. Larry, our General Manager at Car-Mart of Lebanon, Mo., is committed to making a positive impact in his community. He’s always willing to help those in need and make a difference. That’s why Car-Mart sponsors and conducts numerous activities in Lebanon.
One of Car-Mart’s standout events is its Trunk-or-Treat, the first community activity held by the dealership when it opened in 2009. It’s evolved from a chaotic first year to a smoothly run operation. Now, 15-20 local businesses participate to decorate trunks and pass out candy, with the fire department bringing fire trucks as well. Larry notes that last year, nearly 2,000 children and their families attended, making it the biggest ever.
“We’ve had graveyards, fishing themes with mermaids, Frankenstein scenes, and so much more,” Larry says. “They [the businesses] get into it. At the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.”
After seeing the success of Car-Mart’s Trunk-or-Treat event, the city of Lebanon decided to expand it into a larger community event that would occur after the Car-Mart event. On Saturday, Oct. 28, families can enjoy Trunk-or-Treat at Car-Mart before heading to the city’s festivities for a fun-filled day with their ghouls and goblins.
“When we asked Larry to help and be a part of our bigger community event, he jumped on board and will do whatever he can to help out.,” says John Shelton, Director of Parks, City of Lebanon. “Car-Mart is a great partner to our city. The dealership helps with Christmas in the Park and several other activities. They have naming rights on two baseball fields and sponsor teams to ensure the cost of sports for our kids is as low as possible.”
“Car-Mart is always happy to help,” John continues. “They’re a very valuable asset to the community.”
Trunk-or-Treat – down memory lane
Larry’s associate team also participates in the Halloween tradition by decorating their offices, lobby, and trunks, as well as dressing up. Larry doesn’t have to ask for assistance as they are always eager to participate in Trunk-or-Treat. “They enlist me,” he says.
Additionally, Barbie, wife of Car-Mart’s inventory associate, Guy Aldrich, paints hay bales donated by a local farmer since Trunk-or-Treat started. Mallory Fohn, the Senior Office Manager, is the behind-the-scenes organizer for Trunk-or-Treat, ensuring a smooth event.
The Trunk-or-Treat event became so popular that sometimes the police direct traffic. One of Larry’s fondest memories is of a fire truck spraying water to mark the end of a Trunk-or-Treat. Above all, Larry loves seeing the joy on the faces of little children and entire families dressed up in costumes.
“This day is a day for the community, a day for the kids,” says Larry. “Our Trunk-or-Treat offers a safe place for trick or treating. It’s an opportunity to show our appreciation to our customers and community. Plus, it creates happy memories for the kids, who look forward to returning every year. It’s a special day.”
“It’s all about just seeing the people. It’s just so much fun,” smiles Larry.
Giving back – Car-Mart style
Larry’s Car-Mart is a prominent community partner in Lebanon, sponsoring various events and activities such as clean-up projects for Niangua River Stream Team #3117, movie nights and ballparks in the City of Lebanon, shop with the cops for the Lebanon Police Department, football games for Lebanon High School, Fort Niangua Mud Runs, blood drives for the Community Blood Center, and food drives for the local food pantries.
The dealership also organizes various fundraisers and drives, including the annual Holiday Toy Drive in November.
“We’re part of this town. We live here. Our kids go to school here. It’s important for us to give back and show that we genuinely care about the community,” says Larry. “We take our company’s vision of improving our communities to heart. Besides, without the community, there’s no Car-Mart.”
Personally, Larry appreciates having the opportunity to help. “I always love to help kids. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. I just grew up with a family with integrity and a work ethic and to always appreciate what you have,” Larry says. “If somebody needs something, you do what you can to help.”
“This is my home. This is my town. It’s the little things that make a big difference,” concludes Larry. “We take great pride in being a part of Lebanon.”
Indeed, the City of Lebanon can count on Larry and his team of Car-Mart associates to give back to the community and do all they can to help. It’s what we do. It’s what Larry does!