It’s a Family Affair for Delaware Dealer’s Annual Giving from the NADA Foundation’s Ambassador Program

Published April 26, 2012

SMYRNA, Del. (April 26, 2012) - William H. “Bill” Willis, Jr., says it's a “no brainer” for new-car dealers to get involved with the Ambassadors program of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. 

“Every dealer should look at the Ambassadors program as a fantastic opportunity to give back to their community,” said Willis, president of the Willis Automotive Group in Smyrna, Del., and a board member of the National Automobile Dealers Association. 

With $10,000 donations each to the NADA Foundation beginning in 2004, the Willis family created four ambassadorships. Willis and his brother, Harry D. “Skip” Willis, as well as their father, William H. Willis, and mother, Edna V. Willis, were named as Ambassadors. Donors with three or more gifts of $10,000 to the program receive the title of “Ambassadors of Distinction” and can present $2,000 grants every year in perpetuity. 

“This is the gift that keeps on giving. Grants from my family through the NADA Foundation's Ambassadors program will continue forever,” Willis added. “My children and their children will be able to donate money to organizations they choose for future generations.”

With an original investment of $40,000, the Willis family has already provided six grants totaling $11,500 to local organizations since 2007. Here's the breakdown by year, amount and Ambassador:

  • 2007:  North Smyrna Elementary School ($1,500) - William H. Willis
  • 2008:  Delaware Children's Fire Safety Foundation ($2,000) - William H. Willis, Jr.
  • 2009:  Smyrna/Clayton Boys and Girls Club ($2,000) - Harry D. “Skip” Willis
  • 2010:  Wesley College, Dover, Del., ($2,000) - William H. Willis  
  • 2011:  Wesley College ($2,000) - William H. Willis, Jr.
  • 2012:  City of Waukee, Iowa, Fire Department ($2,000) - Edna V. Willis

To become an NADA Foundation Ambassador, a dealer, company, association or individual makes a tax-deductible contribution of $10,000 in their name or in recognition of a loved one, living or deceased. Ambassadors are then eligible to provide $1,500 grants to charities or philanthropic causes every three years in perpetuity.

The NADA Foundation's Ambassadors Program

Today, there are 571 Ambassadors who provide about $250,000 to organizations each year in the public or private sector, supporting a variety of causes from emergency medical services and education to job training for adults with disabilities. This year, 135 Ambassadors will present grants to organizations of their choice. To date, more than $1 million has been donated to organizations across the country through the program. For more information or to become an Ambassador, contact the NADA Foundation at (703) 821-7102 or

About the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation

The NADA Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Funds contributed by new-car and -truck dealers and friends of the industry provide financial support to schools, private colleges and universities, emergency disaster relief and community service programs. For more information, visit

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