As owner of an automobile dealership, Andy Shaw supported a wide range of charitable causes.
Close friend Larry Hinton, who worked with Shaw for a dozen years, said one of those stood out as particularly dear to both him and Shaw over the years.
“Andy and I always agreed that our main focus would be to support education,” recalled Hinton, the dealership’s president and general manager. “He was a welleducated man with both an undergraduate and a law degree from Duke. He really pushed that focus on education.”
That’s why Hinton and his colleagues at Andy Shaw Ford have made a $15,000 contribution to Southwestern Community College’s Student Success Campaign in honor of Shaw, who passed away last year.
An effort to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability at Southwestern, the Student Success Campaign aims to raise more than $1 million through the community’s support and with the help of a federal challenge grant that matches every dollar (up to $300,000) donated before Sept. 30, 2014.
“What an appropriate way for Larry and everyone at the dealership to honor their dear friend,” said Mary Otto Selzer, director of the SCC Foundation. “The availability of the challenge grant has made their gift of $15,000 a $30,000 donation to the SCC Foundation.”
Hinton said the matching funds were the primary reason the donation went to the Student Success Campaign rather than toward endowing a scholarship in his best friend’s name.
“Andy would have wanted us to leverage our dollars as much as possible,” Hinton said.
SCC trained and educated six of the dealership’s seven technicians, and Shaw’s son Hayden attended SCC’s Early College program.
Hinton said those close ties also factored into the decision to give to SCC’s Foundation.
“Southwestern has done an exceptional job of training and educating so many of our associates,” Hinton said.
“And they’ve held certification classes like emissions testing and collision repair. We were all actually talking at Andy’s funeral about how we wanted to recognize him somehow, and I believe it was one of our technicians who suggested we give to SCC.”
The son of a newspaper editor, Shaw worked as a trial attorney in Florida before retiring at the age of 50.
He then took over Sylva’s Ford dealership in 1997 and moved to Jackson County from Sarasota, Fla., in the late 1990s.
“When it came to the business, how to treat customers and what it takes to be successful, we always felt the same way,” Hinton said. “Andy was extremely loyal to all of us who worked with him. He was special to all of us, and that’s why we wanted to do this. I think that every person at Andy Shaw Ford, at some point in time thinks of Andy every single day. He’s not far from our minds.”