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A car for Christmas

Joyce C. Nichols of Colonie received a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero as part of a contest held by Otto Cadillac on Central Avenue. The car will make life with her third grade twins Brandon, left, and Krista, right, much easier. Otto Cadillac will also pay for the plates, registration and 8 percent sales tax that would normally fall on Nichols’ shoulders.

Joyce C. Nichols of Colonie received a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero as part of a contest held by Otto Cadillac on Central Avenue. The car will make life with her third grade twins Brandon, left, and Krista, right, much easier. Otto Cadillac will also pay for the plates, registration and 8 percent sales tax that would normally fall on Nichols’ shoulders. Submitted Photo

— When Otto Cadillac asked the community to help find a Colonie family that deserved to win a car, Mike Keane knew exactly who to nominate.

“I’ve known Joyce for the last few years because our kids attend the same school,” said Keane. “I made a suggestion that (the PTA) would all submit her because I think when there’s quantity that can sometimes help support the individual.”

Keane rallied about 100 nominations for Joyce C. Nichols, a single mother of third-grade twins who has been getting around by bus, taxi and rides from friends since her car broke down two years ago.

“She tries very hard to help those two have as much as they can but it’s a struggle,” said Keane.

Nichols said when she found out she was soon to be the owner of a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero, she was speechless.

“It means everything,” said Nichols. “I never thought it was possible.”

The only rule for the giveaway was that the family had to be from the Town of Colonie and have a demonstrated need for a car. The contest was flooded with so many entries for Nichols that the Central Avenue dealership couldn’t help but take notice of her story.

“[Nichols] has a strong impact and community ties and does a lot of volunteer work and we just felt as though her family would really benefit and was the type of person we were looking for to benefit from this giveaway,” said Amanda Dolan of Rebel Creative Marketing Concepts, the company that ran an extensive social media campaign for the giveaway.

Nichols’ story started two years ago when her car died and she couldn’t afford to get it fixed. Since then, she’s been forced to rely on rides from benevolent friends, expensive taxi trips and buses with schedules that didn’t always mesh with hers. With two young children, such unreliable transportation made for an even greater hardship.

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