Auto Briefs

East Cooper Community Outreach, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, is one of the organizations helped by Hendrick auto dealerships during its donation blitz ending Jan. 16 (File/Wade Spees/Staff).

A dealership group spread across the Lowcountry will join forces to raise donations to help build back depleted supplies for the hungry and needy.

Team Hendrick Charleston & North Charleston's Drive for Hunger campaign is taking place through Jan. 16.

Local food banks and non-profits will get much-needed help to restock nearly empty shelves after the holidays, according to the group.

Team Hendrick's dozen local automotive dealerships will make donations to The Lowcountry Food Bank and East Cooper Community Outreach during the campaign, held over two weeks.

Similarly, Hendrick employees will be handling donations of nonperishable food, winter coats and other needed supplies. According to the dealerships, local folks can help too by dropping off canned goods and other items at area Hendrick dealerships.

Donors can check on which items and supplies are needed most by clicking on www.HendrickCharleston.com or on www.facebook.com/HendrickCharleston.

Also, Hendrick dealerships will donate $1 - up to $10,000 - for each "like" received at www.facebook.com/HendrickCharleston.

"This is our fourth year of Drive for Hunger and we continue to see an enormous amount of support from the community and our employees," said Paul Whatley, market area vice president with Hendrick Automotive Group in Charleston and North Charleston.

"We can't think of a better way to begin the New Year than by helping jump-start community giving," he said.

Lowcountry Food Bank at www.lowcountryfoodbank.org serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina and distributes more than 19 million pounds of food a year. East Cooper Community Outreach at www.eccocharleston.org provides safety net services for low-income families and those in need while empowering them to create a better future for themselves, according to the Hendrick group.

Participating auto dealerships consist of Rick Hendrick Chevrolet, Rick Hendrick Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Hendrick Honda of Charleston, Hendrick Hyundai, Rick Hendrick BMW Charleston, MINI of Charleston, Volvo of Charleston and Hendrick Lexus of Charleston, all on Savannah Highway; and Hendrick Hyundai North, Rick Hendrick Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram, Rick Hendrick Fiat of North Charleston and Hendrick Toyota Scion North Charleston, each on Rivers Avenue.

For more information, visit www.HendrickCharleston.com or www.Facebook.com/HendrickCharleston.

After plugging along for six years, Lowcountry Auto Brokers has hit its stride as of late.

The venture, which helps find specific quality cars for its customers, passed the $2 million sales figure recently. "We ended up the year with a large bang," said David Rodwell, who runs the business with his wife Susan. "Things are moving a little bit."

Rodwell said the auto brokers always struggled to reach 10 deals a month but has started to meet that level on a more regular basis. "I think we finally have a really consistent pace," he said.

The broker grew up in Georgetown and took over the Rodwell Pontiac GMC dealership from his father in 1983. He later joined the McElveen Group in Summerville before launching Lowcountry Auto Brokers in 2008.