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Decade-long Partnership Offers Child Safety Seat Clinics that Correct Faulty Installations
and Save Young Lives

NEW CANAAN,  CT,   (March 5, 2008)  —   Safe Kids Worldwide® presented KARL Chevrolet HUMMER of New Canaan with an Award of Appreciation on Saturday during the free safety seat clinic the dealership offered in collaboration with Fairfield County Safe Kids.  The award “recognizes KARL Chevrolet for its outstanding partnership and support for Safe Kids Fairfield County and the Safe Kids Buckle Up Program.”

Alexis Kagiliery-Lee, Buckle Up East Coast Operations Manager for Safe Kids Worldwide, who presented the award to Leo E. Karl III, President of The Karl Company, and Stephen J. Karl, Vice President, noted that the dealership and the area chapter are one of the longest standing Buckle Up partnership nationwide. “This is a true partnership, offering benefit to both partners as they work together to help the community. It takes time to build a relationship and to reach this level of integration.  A large part of this partnership’s sustainability is an outgrowth of the Karl family’s ongoing commitment to the community; their philanthropic contributions go beyond Safe Kids – they ‘get it.’ Safe Kids Worldwide plans to use this partnership as a model as we promote the growth of collaborations that help families in other parts of the country,” she added.

In a letter Ms. Kagiliery-Lee also presented to the Karls, Edward J. Peper, Jr., General Manager of the Chevrolet Motor Division of the General Motors Corporation, observed, “General Motors and Chevrolet have supported the Safe Kids Buckle Up program on the national level for more than a decade. The program allows our dealers to become the leading resource for child passenger safety information in their communities.  But it’s not often that I hear of a dealership that has made the safety of children such a priority.

Karl Chevrolet has taken its commitment to safety to an unprecedented level with consistent and generous support to Safe Kids Fairfield County. As a partner in the Safe Kids Buckle Up program since its inception in Connecticut, both the dealership and its employees have shown a steadfast commitment to the safety of families in your community.  The fact that Karl Chevrolet was the first dealership in the state to have a fully trained and certified child passenger safety technician on staff and has donated three vehicles to the coalition for use in their safety program shows that you have truly developed a model partnership that other dealerships can strive to emulate.

“I would like to extend my personal congratulations for your work on behalf of Chevrolet.  The families in your community are undoubtedly safer because of your commitment and partnership with Safe Kids,” Mr. Peper said.

Tony Phillips, his wife Bonnie and their 17-month-old daughter, Charlotte, who attended the presentation, are a testament to the partnership’s success. The family first became aware of the importance of correctly installing their child safety seat at one of Karl’s Fairfield County Safe Kids clinics when their daughter was an infant.  Last fall, when they needed to install a new seat for their daughter, they called on the New Canaan Police Department for help (the department’s Officers Jason Ferraro and Geoffrey Lambert are certified safety seat technicians).  Less than three weeks later, Mrs. Phillips’s vehicle was hit by another car on the Merritt Parkway.  Although the 40 mph impact was inches from the toddler, Charlotte was unhurt.

“Thankfully, families that come to these safety seat checks are not always involved in accidents, but stories like the Phillips’ provide tangible evidence of how worthwhile and important these safety seat checks are,” Leo Karl observed.  “There’s nothing straightforward about installing a car seat; typically at these clinics, only one or two will show up correctly installed. In just half an hour, trained eyes are able to correct the installation and share critical information with families.  Parents leave with one less thing to worry about when they’re driving, knowing their precious passengers are riding safely.  Our customers already know we have people on staff who can help them at any time with their child safety seat installation; many of the families who take advantage of these free clinics are here and having a trained eye look at their child’s seat for the first time,” he said.

“Our core philosophy is based on meeting the needs of local families,” Mr. Karl continued.  “When Bob Cordes approached us about partnering with the new area Safe Kids organization a decade ago, it seemed like a natural extension of that philosophy.  More than three fourths of our customers come from outside New Canaan, and this offered an opportunity to reach out to offer help to our broader community,” he noted.

“These safety seat clinics involve an army of volunteers who have spent many hours getting trained and certified as child safety seat technicians. We thank all of them for their commitment and their help,” Mr. Karl added. 

Charles Conway and Robert J. Cordes, Managing Directors for Fairfield County SAFE KIDS, detailed the KARL Company’s long record of significant contributions to Fairfield County SAFE KIDS and to the cause of consumer safety.  In 1998 KARL sponsored the first safety seat clinic in Fairfield County, and it has done so at least twice a year ever since. In 1999 KARL Chevrolet HUMMER became the first dealership in Connecticut to have a certified Car Seat Technician on staff.  Last fall KARL donated a HUMMER H3 to Fairfield County SAFE KIDS for use in transporting equipment for a variety of safety programs; the dealership had previously donated a Chevy TrailBlazer and a Chevy Avalanche to the organization.

In 2003 the National SAFE KIDS organization recognized KARL’s “outstanding leadership and lasting contribution to the field of child passenger safety,” and in 2005 KARL was the only dealership in Fairfield County and one of only seventy-five honored nation-wide by the organization for their commitment to child passenger safety.  In 2006, the Board of Directors of Fairfield County SAFE KIDS presented KARL Chevrolet HUMMER with The Safe Kids Community Partnership Award for their outstanding support of the Coalition and the children of Fairfield County.

Safe Kids Buckle Up is the largest, most comprehensive program of Safe Kids Worldwide. The mission of Safe Kids Buckle Up is to ensure that children are fully protected in vehicles. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. children between the ages of 1 and 14.

Since 1996, the General Motors Corporation has served as Safe Kids Buckle Up’s exclusive funding source and helped build Safe Kids Buckle Up into a multifaceted national initiative, bringing motor vehicle safety messages to children and families through community and dealer partnerships. In October 2004, Chevrolet became the lead partner of Safe Kids Buckle Up, bringing an added dimension to Safe Kids Buckle Up activities. GM and its foundation have provided $50 million in financial support and vehicles over the past decade through 2009. For more information visit

Fairfield County SAFE KIDS’ mission is to reduce unintentional injuries sustained by children age 0-14.  The Norwalk-based nonprofit coalition, formed in 1998, provides education to the community about proper installation and use of car seats, water safety, bicycle safety, fire prevention and safety in the home. Several area police and fire departments have trained child safety seat technicians on staff who volunteer for the safety seat clinics and who can provide assistance to families. For more information, visit

Founded in 1927, the KARL Company operates the award-winning, customer-focused Chevrolet HUMMER Dealership at 261 Elm Street in New Canaan, one block west of the Metro North train station, along with KARL Automotive Service of Greenwich, located at 1330 East Putnam Avenue, just off I-95 exit 5. To reach KARL Automotive Service of Greenwich, call (203) 637-1711 or e-mail  Visit the KARL Dealership on the Internet at, or call KARL Chevrolet at 966-9508 or toll-free at 1-800-321-KARL; call HUMMER by KARL toll-free at 1-877-8HUMMER.