The Luther Automotive Group

‘Penny wars’ use coinage for battle

penny-wars-049-web“It was crazy,” said new car biller Alicia Rathbun, a chief instigator in the Park Place Motor Cars “Penny Wars,” a staff effort supporting the Olmsted County United Way.

This stirring weeklong fundraising battle between store departments wasn’t limited to pennies but involved an offset system where people used silver coinage (negative points) to cancel out positive penny point totals. Each department had two jars, one for pennies and the other for silver to cancel out the pennies from other teams. The group with the highest margin over the others was declared the winner.

Some of the four teams played offense while others were defensive, Rathbun explained. The losing team had to wash the winners’ vehicles and technicians in particular had their targeted washers in mind, she said.penny-wars-056-web

With some 70 to 80 participants, things were sure to get interesting. Rathbun watched as one person walked back with coins with a flock of people following to learn which team would take the point total hit. Laughs and smiles erupted as people sought to learn who was sabotaging whom, she said.

The final day brought an unexpected clincher for several, when a 2:15 p.m. cutoff prompted some to pull out hidden savings. Those who thought they were winning were suddenly on the losing side, Rathbun said.

Technicians prevailed and the losing sales team had to wash the personal vehicles of their showfloor brethren. And, former General Manager Andy Gadient and Controller Dana Funk got busy washing 18 vehicles in all. The grand total reached nearly $700.

penny-wars-066-web“In the end, everyone came together for a great cause and there was a sense of camaraderie throughout the entire dealership,” she said.

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