The Man Who Gave


Ann Arbor is about a half hour from my driveway. It is most well known as the home of the University of Michigan and, this time of year especially, as the home of the Michigan Wolverines football team.

It was also recently the location of an incredibly Reckless act.

Howard Cooper Import Center was long known as a reputable and fair car dealership. The founder, Howard Cooper, started the business 47 years ago. This month the business is changing hands as he has decided at the age of 83 that it was finally time to retire. The dealership has been sold and Howard is — rightfully so — ready to take a break.

But he had one piece of business to take care of before he left. Last week he walked into the office with a stack of envelopes and gave one to each employee. In that envelope was a check worth $1,000 for every year they had worked for the company.

One man who had been driving the parts van for the company for nearly 28 years received a check for nearly $28,000.

Another received a check for $26,000. Everyone got something – 89 employees in all.

In a day where the news stories that make the headlines are those of corporate corruption and downsizing, this is a story that needs to be told and retold.

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