As sales decline, Wheeling auto dealership leads charge to surprise birthday boy


ISLAND LAKE, Ill. – A Wheeling auto dealer helped make a boy’s fifth birthday extra special during tough times.

During the pandemic, auto dealerships are finding new ways to become a driving force for their communities.

Reid Ryback thought his birthday was going to be a bust this year; no party, no friends and on top of that… rain.

But it turned out, the police were there to celebrate Ryback’s birthday, leading a caravan of cars past his home.

“Very overwhelmed, I was not expecting that at all,” said mother Christina Ryback. “I had tears rolling down my eyes.”

It was coordinated by Bill Stasek Chevrolet.

“So many people are suffering during this time, and innocent kids are losing the opportunity to have a birthday party,” said Jeremy Stasek. “You just don’t want that, so if you can make their day better, have them smile, we’re all for it.”

Auto industry sales are expected to be down 50 percent this month, compared to last year.

Deemed essential businesses, dealerships are trying to remind residents that they are still open.

Many of the area’s nearly 400 new car dealerships have provided meals, PPE and free oil changes to nurses, doctors and first responders during the pandemic.


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