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Prize in Chevrolet Cruze giveaway headed to Iowa

By Staff | Oct 20, 2010

Someone who dropped an entry form at the Chevrolet dealership in Marshalltown, Iowa, will find a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact car in their driveway in the near future.

The silver ice metallic Cruze 2LS, purchased by the Tribune-Chronicle as the first retail sale of the General Motors Co. Lordstown Complex-built upscale small cars, will be shipped to the town of about 26,000 in central Iowa.

The identity of the winner is being kept secret until a “prize patrol” of the newspaper owned by Ogden Newspapers Inc., which also owns the Tribune, and the local Chevrolet dealership present the car.

The winner prevailed out of an estimated 75,000 entries submitted in the contest since it was announced on Sept. 15.

The drawing was supervised by local accountant H. Scott Masters of Berkman, Jorgensen, Masters and Stafman LLC, who is verifying the winning entry is legitimate and that the winner is an eligible contestant.

Warren Mayor Michael O’Brien drew the winner from entry forms heaped into the bed of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck at the Diane Sauer Chevrolet dealership in downtown Warren.

Sauer estimated her dealership collected 20,000 to 25,000 entries, most of which were dropped off at the dealership instead of mailed. Another 10,000 came from the Chevrolet dealership in Steubenville. A total of 20 Ogden newspapers, including those in Lee County, participated.

The volume of entries exceeded the number of entries for the Tribune’s 2004 giveaway in the fall of 2004 of the Cruze’s predecessor, the Chevrolet Cobalt small car, said officials, who called the contest a great success.

“We’re pleasantly surprised by the estimated 75,000 entries. We’re thrilled to be part of it,” said Len Blose, general manager of the Tribune Chronicle, which bought the car, sticker priced at $18,100, from Sauer Chevrolet.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, a lot of good communication between communities and local Chevy dealers. We’re looking forward to doing it again,” he added.

Sauer noted the support area residents gave to the Cruze was “clearly shown by the amount of entries from the Warren market.”

O’Brien called the contest “another example of great community spirit, from workers who assemble the cars in Lordstown to the local dealer that sells the cars to the local newspaper that bought the car.”

Ogden-owned newspapers and Chevrolet dealerships from Minot, N.D., to Sanibel and Captiva, and New York state participated in the contest, designed to celebrate the launch of the brand-new upscale small car built at the 4,300-worker Lordstown complex.

On the islands, the sponsoring newspapers were the Island Reporter, the Captiva Current and the Sanibel-Captiva Islander. The sponsoring dealership was Victory Layne Chevrolet in Fort Myers.