Cornell family surprised with a free new car from local dealersh - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Cornell family surprised with a free new car from local dealership

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Cornell -

A deserving Cornell family got the surprise of a lifetime on Friday, thanks to a local holiday tradition. 

When Cornell Police Officer, Luke Abbate, was recently diagnosed with cancer, the small community he serves jumped into action. 

"He's all around, a great guy to work with, there's nothing more you can really say about the guy." Cornell Police Chief, Brian Hurt said.

On Friday morning, Luke's wife Alayna was surprised with a new car, as a part of Morrie's Mazda's, "60 Days of Giving" campaign.

"We know what you guys are going through with what's happening down there with you, Luke. That really moved us all." Bill Bertrand of Morrie's Mazda said told Luke on the phone.

"We didn't know what was going on, but we are here and now we got a car," said Alayna Abbate.

Luke Abbate couldn't be at the event on Friday, because he's being treated in Rochester, Minnesota. Previously, Alayna Abbate stuck at home without a car, but now that's the past.

"It means a lot. We now have a second vehicle, I can go see my husband and drive to the hospital to see him," Alayna said.

"They're just fantastic people. So. we thought this would really serve the need to help their family and to really kind of get them through this time that they're going through, which is obviously very challenging," Bertrand said.

Two teachers, Niki Hale and Kaylee Kurth, nominated the Abbate family, and they're happy to see that the family has new wheels.

"There's really no words to say how excited we were, because something like this, doesn't happen in such a small community all the time." Hale and Kurth said.

A community that's happy to hold down the fort, and lift up Luke's family until he's back home.

"We are thinking about you," Kurth said.

"Take care, get well soon and come home," Hale added. 

The "60 Days of Giving" campaign has been going on for six or seven years now, but this year for the first time, the dealership partnered with Mega-Holiday Co-Op. The gas station donated a year's worth of free gas to the Abbate family. 

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