May 08, 2014
LAWT News Service
When Alvin Lovett first met his wife, Joyce more than 20 years ago, the Alabama native had to walk from 121st and central to 74th and Central, a total of 47 blocks, to see her. “I hadn’t called in advance. So when I got there, she wasn’t home,” says Lovett. “So I had to turn around and walk all the way back.” Today, Alvin “Alabama” Lovett is the number one Kia Salesperson at the number one Kia dealership in America. “I went from walking because I didn’t own a car to being able to drive any car in the world I want—as long as it is a Kia”.
Alabama’s journey has been long, and along the way he has never forgotten where he came from—Mobile to be exact—or any of the stops along the way. Today, he is committed to giving back by being of service to his community. “One of the lessons I learned when I married into my wife Joyce’s family was that family and community matters; that’s why getting involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS is so important to me. HIV is attacking our families. And the only way families survive is for every member to do their part.” There are approximately 1.25 million Americans living with HIV in the US today, nearly 50 percent (50%) are Black, and many of them don’t know they are infected.
“Every time I would see him, Alabama would say, ‘Phill, I’m gonna help you with that AIDS thing,’ said Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “People tell me that all the time, but usually, it’s just talk.” On World AIDS Day 2013, Car Pros Kia of Carson, at the urging of Alabama, announced the “Drive Out AIDS, Win A New Car” raffle to benefit the Black AIDS Institute and other HIV/AIDS organizations.
“I jumped on the opportunity to work with The Black AIDS Institute on this project, knowing that they are the world’s greatest advocate for informing our communities about the epidemic,” says Alabama.
“Sometimes it gets extremely hard to keep going,” says Wilson. “AIDS in America has become a Black disease. At the same time there are fewer and fewer resources to fight the epidemic. Governments are pulling back. Foundations are backing away, and corporations are not as supportive as they could be. The Black AIDS Institute is one of the leading Black organizations in the field and even we are having a difficult time keeping our doors open. The only way for us to survive, the only way to end the AIDS epidemic in our community is for people and businesses in the community to step up to the plate. That is what Alabama, Ken Phillips [the owner of Car Pros Kia of Carson] are doing. They are doing their part. Now if we can only get the community to do their part by purchasing raffle tickets.”
To win a brand new car and support the work of the Black AIDS Institute, people can purchase raffle tickets (www.AIDSraffle.org) for $25 each or $20 each, if you buy five. The grand prize is a brand new 2014 Kia Forte or a five day Carnival Cruise for two to either the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Baja, Mexico. Because of the generosity of Car Pros Kia of Carson, 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales goes to the charities.
One of Alabama’s operating sales principles is “doing well by doing good”. “After my first month at Car Pros Kia, Ken Phillips, (the owner of the dealership) would allow me to discount the cars sold to the citizens of Compton,” says Alabama. He would give the City of Compton $100 for every car he sold to a Compton resident”. They have been able to build up thousands of dollars through that program to support youth , seniors, and programs that serve poor residents of the community.
“When I spoke to Ken Phillips, he decided that the dealership would donate the 2014 Kia Forte and sponsor the raffle,” says Alabama. “I don’t think a lot about selling cars. As long as I keep the community in my heart, people will keep coming in to Car Pros Kia of Carson asking for Alabama. And, as long as people keep asking for Alabama, I will keep doing my part to help the community.”
The 2014 Kia Forte Sedan comes fully equipped with a 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty—the best in the United States—as well as AM/FM satellite radio, MP3 and USB outlets and Bluetooth.
The winning ticket for the Kia Forte will be drawn on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the 15th Anniversary Black AIDS Institute Heroes in the Struggle Gala Reception and Awards Presentation on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the Directors Guild of America. The honorees this year include Academy Award winning actress Mo’Nique, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Jamar Rogers and corporate hero, Walgreens. For more information about the Heroes in the Struggle Gala or the Black AIDS Institute go to www.BlackAIDS.org.