10,000 Laredoans Join Texas' Oldest Dealership Celebrating 100 Years at the Sames 100th Anniversary Fiesta

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It is the event of the century and the first of its kind in Laredo's history! Ten thousand free tickets were given away to the Laredo community as a 'thank you' from the Sames family for 100 years of patronage and support. A lucky Laredoan will drive away in a brand-new 2011 Ford Fiesta on Sunday during the Mustang Autoshow. 100 finalists were selected from thousands of on-line entries via http://www.samesauto.com.

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Sames Motor Company, Inc., Texas' Oldest Dealership since 1910, invites all to its 100th Anniversary Fiesta! An exciting weekend of events kicks off on Friday, September 17 and goes through Sunday, September 19, 2010.

A Private VIP Event is scheduled for Friday September 17 for close friends, family, and executives. Awards and recognition presented from Ken Czubay, Ford Motor Company Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Kurt Lauer, Ford Motor Credit Regional Manager, Alvin Haynes, Honda Motor Company Regional Sales Manager, Mazda North American Operations, Senator Judith Zaffirini, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, and the City of Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas. In the tradition of giving set forth by founder W. J. Sames, great grandson Hank Sames will present the Laredo Community Foundation with a generous donation with proceeds benefitting the Sames Scholar Program. President of Texas A&M International University Dr. Ray Keck will accept a donation from Harry (Hank) Sames III that will go toward the Sames Scholars program.

Entry to all weekend events are free to the public and take place at Sames Motor Company 6001San Dario Avenue at the I-35 Mann Road exit. Festivities start on Saturday, September 18, between 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM with a free autograph signing session with La Mafia at Sames Budget Center located on Zapata Highway at the Loop 20 intersection. The 100th Anniversary Fiesta Concert and Block Party doors open at 5:30 PM with concert starting at 6:15 PM. Regional super stars La Mafia headlines the concert with opening artists Grupo Origen and Grupo Destino. Complimentary tickets are now available at all Sames Laredo locations: 6001 San Dario, 6105 San Dario, 2300 Saunders, and 804 Zapata Highway. Parking for the event will be near Dillard's at Mall Del Norte. Free shuttle service to and from the concert will be provided. All proceeds from the concert concession donated to Bethany House and other local non-profit organizations.

The Mustang Rally and Auto Show will be on Sunday, September 19, starting at 1:00 PM. Mustang enthusiasts are encouraged to show their vehicle. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded. Call Elizabeth at (956) 251-4163 to enter. The 3rd annual Pony Round-Up will be coordinating a Mustang cruise throughout Laredo. The much anticipated Fiesta Giveaway Winner will be announced during the show. One hundred lucky Laredoans will be named as semi-finalists with the winner selected live and drive off in his/her new 2011 Ford Fiesta! All proceeds from the event benefit the Hurricane Alex Relief Fund.

Sames Motor Company Background

William J. Sames was born in Hartford, Connecticut to immigrant parents who worked on the famous Colt Estate. He studied insurance and Spanish and ventured to Cuba with a business partner to build their fortunes. W.J. Sames moved on to work with Archeologist Edward Thompson in Yucatan. He developed pneumonia in Monterrey and his doctor advised him to go to Laredo to be nursed to health. W.J. struck a partnership with J.R. Moore managing a property brokerage and wholesale business. In 1910, they opened the Laredo Auto Sales Company, the first auto dealership in Texas. Their inventory started with three Ford Model-Ts that were put together in a grain warehouse behind their wholesale business. Sames and Moore decided to divide the businesses with a coin toss. Sames won Laredo Auto Sales and thus began the legacy of Sames Motor Company.

As business flourished, so did the Sames Family’s philanthropic contributions. W.J. Sames set the bar by donating the property for Laredo's first Country Club. Harry Sr. and Harry Jr. were staunch supporters of the local high school’s driver’s education programs and generously donated vehicles for the program year after year. Hank Sames founded the Sames Scholars and the Driven to Success Programs. These education based initiatives are the only ones of their kind in South Texas. He is a co-founder of the Jalapeno Festival, a community event showcasing Hispanic music artists attracting thousands of enthusiasts across Texas and beyond.

Evelyn Sames continues to expand on the tradition of giving as chairperson of the Jalapeno Festival. Evelyn conceived and implemented a unique program, “Mission: Give Laredo”, that benefits the Bethany House, a local charity that provides meals, shelter and household goods to those in need. Even through tough economical times, Evelyn’s fourth annual Mission: Give Laredo benefit in 2009 raised over $100,000.00 and contributed over four 30-foot containers of food, clothing, and household goods breaking all previous records. In 2010, she is working in conjunction with city officials to develop the Tires for Life recycling and wellness program. This program is committed to educate the youth on healthy living and going green.

The Sames family perseveres withstanding the test of time surviving through World Wars, the Great Depression, the devaluation of the peso, the Automotive industry crisis of 2008 and surviving through the current Global economic challenges. Sames Motor Company remains locally owned and operated, as fourth generation owner, Hank Sames passes the baton to his daughter and first female, fifth generation owner, Evelyn Sames in 2010. Evelyn Sames is committed to continuing her family tradition of excellence and service to South Texas. The Sames family exemplifies the American Entrepreneurial Spirit.

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Stephanie Nakano
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