By on April 24, 2017

Toyota Supra

In February, a Texas Toyota dealership and The Genesis Center of Kaufman County joined forces to raffle off a fully restored 1994 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo. Donated by a local resident battling cancer, the entirety of the proceeds from the draw were designated specifically to help fund the center. Genesis is a faith-based shelter which also provides job placement, parenting classes, financial management programs, spiritual counselling, material needs, and medical referrals to women and children in crisis. It is funded largely through the church or via direct donations.

All in all, the dealership managed to raise more than $50,000 for the center. However, when Rebecca Rawl was announced as the winner of the raffle in April, many stated that the name was suspiciously close to that of the wife of sales manager Danny Rawls. Toyota of Rockwall was quick to rectify its mistake, specifying that the name given had been a mistake and “Rebecca Rawls” had in fact been the lottery winner.

As you can imagine, this did not go over well.

“The Supra was truly an answer to prayer,” said Pastor Nancy Schoenle of The Genesis Center in a February interview with Blue Ribbon News. “I had been asking God for something different, something unique to help us touch more lives – then God put it on this donor’s heart to give his car to The Genesis Center.”

“I thought God must have a sense of humor to give us such a race car. Only about 10,000 of this particular model were ever made,” she said. “I called my friends at Toyota of Rockwall – and kudos to them because they are amazing. They led efforts to refurbish the car, giving it new leather seats, new paint, new tires, new tint – all at no charge.”

The Supra in question received a bit of a makeover to ensure it was ready for the raffle. After being donated to the dealership, it underwent an alleged $17,000 in pro bono work to restore it to a desirable stock condition. Local area body shops and Toyota of Rockwell all spent weeks preparing it, after which it spent several days in the dealership’s showroom to advertise the event.

“When Nancy came to me to discuss ways she could earn money to benefit Genesis, I knew we could help by showcasing the Supra in our showroom,” said Barbara Jackson, who owns the Toyota dealership along with her husband, Steve.

However, that positive publicity turned to scathing criticism on April 14th, after the dealership announced Rawls as the winner. Toyota of Rockwell’s Facebook page has been awash with negative comments and accusatory language. It has since shut the page down.

Prior to suspending the account (but after the influx of complaints), Jalopnik cited a posting where the dealership explained that Rebecca had pooled her money with others for a total of 90 tickets and was the legitimate winner. However, it is common practice to prohibit employees, organizers, or their families from participating in raffles like this one — for reasons that should be obvious.

Toyota of Rockwell’s current claim is that Rawls and company had always intended to resell the Supra and donate the money back into the shelter. The church’s website echoes the dealer posting, although it refers to the winner as “Rebecca Rawl.”

The Supra has since appeared on eBay on April 23rd, at what appears to be the Rockwell dealership, posted by the user “rawlsdanny09.” It was initially priced at $35,000 with the starting bid held at $15,000, but the listing was ended within the first twenty-four hours. While it’s still viewable, the website has it marked as “no longer available.” That’s a shame, because unmolested Toyota Supras are hard to find and it’s doubtful that shoppers would care that this particular example was involved in a church-related scandal.

church toyota supra scam

[Image: Toyota]

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40 Comments on “Toyota Dealership Under Fire for Handing Over Charity Raffle Supra to Sales Manager’s Wife...”


  • avatar
    slance66

    The reality is that many of of the people who buy raffle tickets at charity auction type events are friends and family of the people putting on the event or volunteering for the event.

    That’s why you need to have very neutral people drawing the winning ticket very publicly. I’ve won raffles at charity golf tournaments where my wife runs the event. But she doesn’t draw the tickets and the drawing is very public.

    • 0 avatar

      Real Story.

      We go to a Yacht Club. We are guests. There is a 50/50 raffle, so I buy $20. We continue cocktails with a lovely Hudson River Valley sunset.

      After Dinner, they run the raffle. There is a 5 gallon bucket with all the tickets. The presenter shakes it up, and grabs an energetic six year old out of the crowd-my daugther.

      She smiles, sticks her hand in the bucket, and swirls around. she pulls one out. gives to presenter.

      We won the 50/50 that evening.

      Sometimes it just happens.

    • 0 avatar
      starskeptic

      This would not have prevented what happened.

  • avatar
    dwford

    This scenario is EXACTLY why the people running the event and their families are typically prohibited from entering. Perhaps the contest was legit and the wife did win, it still screams conflict and should have been avoided.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    It’s unfortunate that the good lord chose to answer their prayers through the roundabout mechanism of a donated used car and suspicious charity raffle rather than, you know, just curing the guy’s cancer.

    • 0 avatar
      USAFMech

      As a born-again Bible-thumper, I chuckled.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      Or just not giving him the cancer in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There is the belief that God no longer directly intervenes in the affairs of man since “he” is more concerned about our character and how we chose to live.
      We see death as bad but it is inevitable. Suffering is not “good” nor is it “evil”. The cause of it may be. Our culture and healthcare system insulates us from the realities of life. How we chose to respond to what befalls our fellow man or ourselves is ultimately what we shall be judged upon.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        >> Suffering is not “good” nor is it “evil”.

        Nein! It vass merely a tooul of schtudy for ze benefit of Luftvaffe pilots downed in freezink vattah.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Kinda like a prostrate exam by a Doctor with big hands and a twitch.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “a Doctor with big hands”

            Chatting with my diabetes NP after my hip replacement, I mentioned how much retraction during the anterior approach to that procedure painfully distended local muscles and tendons to make a space for the surgeon’s hands (Dr. F is 6’3″-ish, very athletic build).

            She, who’d also had a THR, said that it’s no coincidence large males predominate the ranks of ortho surgeons. At one time she had considered orthopedic surgery as a specialty but was discouraged by the sheer physicality required of the surgeon when popping apart major joints.

            Mechanics are mechanics.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            OldManPants – orthopedics is carpentry.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “orthopedics is carpentry”

            Ah, yes… the saws.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      So our lives should be free of any pain and suffering? We lost that when we allowed sin to make us weak. Its all there in the Book of Genisus, ironically. By your logic, none of us should experience pain or strife in anyway. Why doesn’t God (hope I don’t “offend” your “religious freedom” by capitalizing the G) just make us all supernatural immortal beings? We deserve it for killing each other (including “inconvenient” children), right? For lying and cheating and doing whatever we feel like? Sure we do. Its all Gods fault. Lets hate Him for our free will. The wages of sin are death. Sometimes its someone awesome and loving and great, and sometimes its Hugo Chavez.

      Maybe try to understand things before you try poking holes in them. But, then where would you be able to use all those witty and snide remarks?

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Do you actually contend that God was willing to answer their prayers, but only in the form of a used Toyota? That almost seems crueler than not helping at all, like throwing a drowning person a doughnut instead of a life ring.

        I actually have a pretty good understanding of where you’re coming from; I suspect more of an understanding than many believers do. 13 years of conservative Christian education will do that for you. I may be wrong for a lot of reasons, but lack of a solid theological background is not one of them.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “So our lives should be free of any pain and suffering?”

        Well, that would be swell because:

        “The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease… The list goes on and on.”

        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

        Any being that deliberately creates other beings with such vulnerabilities and then just diddles them for purely self-serving schitz & giggles is a monstrous POS.

        So it’s a good thing that such a being is merely a figment of over-stressed, low-info minds. It’s not a good thing that those minds predominate the world outside the West and are regaining traction within it.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Sounds like trump is running this dealership.

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    Automatic tranny and “some paint work” for $35K?

    Worth closer to $20 to $25K…

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So did The Genesis Center actually get any money out of this deal? When I was buying my ’13 Tacoma, Toyota of Rockwall was the first place we went to look. But, they couldn’t close the deal. We headed out of there to another local dealer that could, the same evening.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Looking at the AutoCheck record, the car’s history looks a little sketchy. It went to auction six months after it was manufactured, with 2,241 miles, then was driven almost 95k in 4-1/2 years (long distance commuter?).

    I’d look it up on Carfax, but my last signup just ran out on Friday (and I still had two VINs left!). AutoCheck is okay, but not as detailed as Carfax.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Could have auctioned a Yugo but I doubt they would have raise 50k and I doubt there would be few bidders.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    The old joke comes to mind, the one with the punchline: “Meet me halfway–buy a freaking ticket.”

  • avatar
    brn

    No good deed goes unpunished. Sounds like the dealership addressed the issue immediately, even though they didn’t have to. Kudos to the dealer.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    Her money is as good as anyone else’s money. I’ve been in that position and have no regrets. I used to run six figure fundraisers and my money and odds were the same as those of everyone else. Don’t like it? Then don’t buy a ticket.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    So “new leather seats, new paint, new tires, and new tint (odd mention)” constitutes “fully restored”. Good to know.

    I guess my definition of “fully restored” would also include suspension and engine work. Maybe that was in the full description that I didn’t see.

    • 0 avatar
      turf3

      That was a description given by the preacher who runs the charity. It is highly unlikely that she is familiar with automotive restoration. For that matter, she called it a “race car” which it clearly isn’t. I would cut her some slack on this one.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        We all know most pastors who lead battered womens’ shelters are car nuts, who are well versed enough in arcane Supra lore to know only 10,000 units like the one in the raffle were built.

        (Whoever wrote that story made up those quotes. Guaranteed.)

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          Those quotes could have been fed to them.

          The dealer employee/manager/owner repeats it enough and they’re bound to pick it up and regurgitate it for the reporter.

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        I was thinking the term “fully restored” was the authors words, not the preacher’s.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    “And the winner of the 1997 Pontiac Astro Van is person sitting in seat 0001… C. Montgomery Burns!”

    (crowd boos, throws pretzels)

  • avatar
    turf3

    It’s Toyota of RockwAll.

    I guarantee that it’s spelled correctly in the original news story. Why would you take extra effort to misspell a word when it would be easier not to?

    It would also take about 12 seconds on Google Maps to detect that there is no RockwEll Texas anywhere near Kaufman County and that RockwAll, TX is the county seat of RockwAll County, which is adjacent to Kaufman County, TX, the home of the charity mentioned.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d buy that the proceeds of the Ebay sale were going back to the shelter if the person selling it wasn’t the sales manager at a car dealership.

    Or maybe the guy and his wife are just going to donate the proceeds of the sale on Ebay directly to the charity? Who knows.

    It all just feels fishy.

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