Lynnes Nissan program donates funds for veterans cemetery

| 18 Apr 2012 | 01:33

STANHOPE — A certificate of appreciation was recently presented to Maria Russo-Farris and Bob Caravano of Lynnes Nissan West for their involvement in the Lynnes Nissan Cares program to benefit the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The award was presented to them by Commander Tony Gallopo of the Sussex County American Legion. Also in attendance at the award presentation were veterans Peter Varsalano, Roger Deacon and Murray Feldman. The cemetery project was initiated by John Harrigan, president of the Sussex County chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association. Currently, the only state-run cemetery is in Burlington County, a two-hour drive from Sussex County. Harrigan decided to take this project on because the family of deceased veterans, many of them elderly, have to travel so far to visit their loved ones. For every referral Lynnes Nissan West receives from a veteran, $100 is donated by Lynnes to the cemetery fund. Fundraising for the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery is being pursued strictly through private means, with no government funding being contributed. “Statistics show that people buy where it is convenient,” said Caravano. “Working with local communities will help us do business and make for a win-win situation.” Veterans are now actively looking to promote the program. “It’s nice in that we set the price to avoid haggling,” said Caravano. “We attach the price to the offer to put forward invoice-based pricing. And by selling through referral we save on advertising expense.” The proposed cemetery will be located in Sparta on property donated by the county adjacent to the Vo-Tech High School. In order to start building, $1 million needs to be raised. The current amount raised remains undisclosed. In May there will be a fundraiser at Perona Farms in Sparta to raise money for the cemetery. Lisa Parrot — wife of Jeffery Parrot, who started a program to have Sussex County veteran ID cards made — will be speaking at the event. The Lynnes Nissan Cares program was founded by Lynnes owner Julie Tozzo and is used to raise funds for other causes as well. The dealership itself was started by Dominic Tozzo in 1953. “Dominic always strived to keep his dealerships above par and to take care of customers,” said Caravano. “He had very high standards when it came to how is employees took care of his customers, and was always in favor of doing the right thing.” Since then, Lynnes Nissan has become the exclusive Nissan dealer in Sussex County.