Surprised, surrounded by media microphones and cameras, Ashely Raby of The Dalles still took a moment to call home and let them know she would be late. “I’m going to be a little bit late,” she told her mom. “I just won a car.”
The 2019 recipient of the Wheels of Hope car, a low mileage 2014 Ford Fiesta, is a single mom with two boys, age 2 and 5, and is the sole supporter of an extended family that includes her mother and grandmother. All five live in a two-bedroom apartment, and until she was awarded the Fiesta the family relied on her grandmother’s vehicle.
“It will relieve a bunch of stress,” she said of winning the car. With only her grandmother’s car for transportation, Raby commuted to her job in Hood River, where she works as a receptionist and CNA for Heart of Hospice with friends and coworkers. Getting family members to doctor appointments, or arranging a new ride to work when someone couldn’t make the trip, was a struggle, she said.
One of those nominating her for the car wrote, “She is so much more responsible than most people her age, as she is not only a single mother, but caring for her grandmother who is having health issues as well. A new car for Ashley would truly mean the world to her, and would enable her to better care for her children, her grandmother, and get her to work each day without having to rely on others. Ashley is not only a great mother who works hard to provide for her two boys, but also goes to great lengths to care for her hospice patients each day.”
Raby is the fifth recipient of a Wheels of Hope car. The benefit is organized by the radio stations of Bicoastal Media, teaming up with Gills Point S Tire, Ray Schultens Motors and Columbia Veterinary Hospital. The project seeks to help a struggling family lacking transportation options meet their daily travel needs. Recipients are nominated through gorgemedia.com.
A panel of judges made up of representatives from Bicoastal Media, sponsors, and human service agencies involved in helping families then choose a family to receive the vehicle.
The recipient will also receive $1,000 to be donated back to a local charity from a list of service organizations selected by Bicoastal Media as part of the “Michelob Ultra Pay it Forward” aspect of the campaign, supported by Western Beverage Distributers.
Wheels Of Hope is also supported by Walmart of Hood River, Maupin’s Stoves and Spas, The Dalles Fruit Company, A Kidz Dental Zone, Crestline Construction, NW Natural, Kimberly Fischer Country Financial, Footworx Orthotics, Gorge Granite Works, Oregon Equipment, Windermere Real Estate, Basalt Café at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, One Community Health, Washington Gorge Action Programs, BBSI, Kramer’s Market, Intergrity Roofing, and Infinite Graphix.
Bicoastal Media owns and operates KACI 93.5 FM, Newsradio 1300 AM/103.9 FM, KCGB 105.5/96.9 FM, KIHR AM 1340/98.3 FM, and KMSW 92.7/102.9 FM.