Macedonia -- Nordonia High School's security team should soon have a new vehicle to take them on their rounds around campus, after Spitzer Chevrolet of Northfield donated a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu to the district.

Principal Casey Wright said the security team, which monitors school grounds, has been using a vehicle that is no longer cost effective to maintain, so he approached Jerry Draga, the dealership's general manager.

Draga told the News Leader the dealership chose to support the schools as part of its efforts to connect with the community.

"I joined the Spitzer organization and this store Aug. 1 and I started working with Casey shortly thereafter," Draga said. "My mindset is to try and be a good corporate citizen in the community. I don't think there is a better way to reach out to the community than through the school system.

"That's where our future is -- our future leadership and the future of our country."

Wright said the district plans to add lettering to identify the car, valued at $24,000, as property of the Nordonia Hills City School District.

He said the board is expected to accept the donation at the Dec. 12 meeting.

Wright said Spitzer Chevrolet and the high school have a long cooperative relationship that includes Spitzer Chevrolet previously providing vehicles for fundraising projects as well as displaying cars at football games for the public to view.

"We have a Jeep that's 15 years old and it would break down more than it was running," Wright said, explaining the security team operates both inside the school building, as well as outside on the school grounds, where a vehicle is needed to get from one part of the property to the other.

The vehicle is clearly labeled as a promotional vehicle for Spitzer Chevrolet, including that the vehicle was donated for use by Spitzer Chevrolet.

Wright said the district did not have funds budgeted for a replacement for the Jeep.

"I tried to think outside of the box," he said. "We want to find relationships with the community."

Wright said the arrangement should be great advertising for the dealership seeking to reach young people looking for their first car.

"There are a lot of people who will see this car every day," he said, adding the vehicle will also be parked in prominent locations at special events.

The Spitzer donation would not be the first sponsorship arrangement the district has in place.

In 2015, the Board of Education agreed to a nine-year deal with Summa Health System granting naming rights to high school athletic fields and the high school's auditorium.

In exchange for $495,000 over the contract term, the high school's athletic facilities are named the "Summa Health Nordonia High School Athletic Complex," the gym is now the "Summa Health Arena" and the school auditorium is named the "Summa Health Performing Arts Center."

The football stadium remains Boliantz Stadium, in recognition of former Superintendent Bill Boliantz's service to the school district.

Summa Health also gets four press box announcements at sporting events, as well as a full-page advertisement inside sports programs, among other benefits.

Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433

emarotta@recordpub.com

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