30 Years – Origins of the David Wilson Endowment Fund

It all began nearly 30 years ago when David Wilson, then the 35-year-old general manager of Toyota of Orange, and an avid runner, decided the City of Orange really needed a signature 5K/10K run. Thus was born the ‘Round Orange Race to benefit Orangewood Children’s Foundation. Over its 10-year life, it raised over $250,000 to help the abused, abandoned and neglected children of Orange County. That race has now evolved into the Chapman/Toyota of Orange 5K, which is an integral part of Homecoming Weekend at Chapman University, and raises scholarships for worthy Chapman students.

Shortly after the first ‘Round Orange Race, David’s employees and friends, searching for the perfect gift for a generous boss, established the David Wilson Endowment Fund. This fund now contains over $500,000 and enables worthy former Orangewood residents to obtain a college education they would not otherwise be able to afford.

Since that time hundreds of worthwhile organizations and individuals have benefitted from David’s generosity: The Boy Scouts, Olivecrest, Schoolpower, University of Northern Iowa, even 260 Kmart customers whose holiday layaway balances mysteriously disappeared after a “secret Santa” called the store manager and paid off nearly $20,000 of family Christmas gifts on layaway.

Each year the 16 dealerships of the Wilson Automotive Group adopt worthy causes and charitable organizations in their local areas – giving back to the communities that have made them successful. Though this generosity is perhaps more visible during the holiday season, the dedication and involvement of the Wilson associates continues throughout the year. David Wilson has led by example; and his employees have learned the value and tremendous personal rewards of sharing.

We decided to publish a Special Sharing Edition of our newsletter, featuring a few examples of what can happen when people care, share and make a difference. From adopting a needy family to helping feed the homeless, to donating their time to community events, our associates can attest to the truth of David’s philosophy borrowed from John Wooden:

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who may never be able to repay you.”