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Pensacola Family receives much-needed car donation from Step One Automotive Group

On Friday, April 21, 2023, Step One Automotive Group hosted a “Driving Opportunity” Key Presentation at Subaru Fort Walton Beach located at 916 Beal Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.  John and […]

John and Courtney Gazoo in front of their new Honda Accord from Step One Automotive.

On Friday, April 21, 2023, Step One Automotive Group hosted a “Driving Opportunity” Key Presentation at Subaru Fort Walton Beach located at 916 Beal Parkway in Fort Walton Beach. 

  • The event aimed to give back to the community by providing a reliable car to a family in need. 

John and Courtney Gazoo from Pensacola, Florida, were the recipients of the Honda Accord after being driven over in a limo. The couple had previously faced difficulties due to their lack of reliable transportation.

Maureen BiermanMarketing Director at Step One Automotive Group, spoke about the company’s commitment to leaving a legacy in the community and providing easier ways of accessing mobility.

  • She mentioned that the company had already put back $2 million into the communities they serve over the last seven years. Bierman went on to express how honored the company was to be able to make a positive impact on the Gazoo family’s life.
Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel (left) and Step One Automotive’s Maureen Bierman talk with John and Courtney Gazoo at Subaru in Fort Walton Beach.

United Way’s Kelly Jansen discussed how the organization had reached out to six United Ways in the southeast region to nominate families and clients for the “Driving Opportunity” initiative. The organization chose the Gazoo family because they believed they were deserving and in need of an additional vehicle to get them to work, school, and other obligations for their family.

John Gazoo and his wife, Courtney, expressed their gratitude towards Step One, United Way and the Health and Hope Clinic. HHC is a non-profit clinic that provides free medical care to low-income and uninsured individuals in the Pensacola area. 

  • Gazoo shared how the clinic saved his life when he was diagnosed with diabetes and lacked insurance. The clinic opened its doors to him on a Sunday night, even when everything was closed, and got him on insulin to control his high levels. 
Maureen Bierman (left), FORT WALTON BEACH Mayor Dick Rynearson, Courtney Gazoo, John Gazoo, and Janey Rynearson (right)

Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson praised Step One for being a tremendous community partner, while Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel expressed her excitement about the generosity of the community.

3 Responses

  1. I glad we still have some good people out there that give to people in need..I wish I could be so lucky I’ve trying to save money to buy a car or truck but haven’t had any luck due to having to put most of my money to all my bills trying to get out of debt I have to drive my stepdad’s truck right now until I can afford to get my own but I’m just hlad that people like you guys still help people that is so great

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“Agreed…that was our favorite spot for locals to go…under the Marler bridge…to swim and watch the boat traffic. Was beautiful!”
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“I have heard this before but without the details. Thanks.”
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“That was a good story it brought back a lot of good memories. I lived there about 35 years ago met some good people ate a lot of good food...”
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“Please open our bridge under neath the Destin bridge please we grew up here only for the locals this is crazy honestly the locals really have Nowhere they can go...”
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“...and food for enjoyment! Big smile.”
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“can okaloosa county residents can get a year pass for henderson beach park?”
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“Congratulations on giving back to your community. This is an awesome need when young people are returning to school. Blessings over blessings to you this upcoming season.”
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“I’m not at all a sociallist or liberal. I just want safety for myself and others. Ron Desantis pledged money for this. I was refrencing Europe in regards to e-bike...”
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