Local Dealer Becomes New Official Miss VA Sponsor


Tara Wheeler, Miss Virginia 2008, was presented with keys to a new Chevy Malibu in a ceremony at Alexandria GMC Tuesday, marking the first time a car dealership in our area has been the sponsor for the Commonwealths official hostess.

I am so excited, said the former Miss Arlington as she checked out all the bells and whistles in what she says will be her new home for the year. Ill be living in this car as I travel across the state and am so thankful for everyones support.

John Herrity, Director of New Business Development for the GMC dealer, credited the generosity of the dealerships owner for stepping in to help the Miss Virginia Scholarship Organization, which is part of the Miss America Organization, after the previous sponsor in Roanoke retired.

Steve (Niswander) is extremely generous, said Herrity. He does what he can to help the community.

Niswander, whose Alexandria Buick/Pontiac/GMC has been the number one dealer in the Greater Washington area for the last three years, is no stranger to helping out in the community.

The list is really too long when it comes to Steves community support, said Herrity.

Recipients of Niswanders generosity include the Alexandria Police Associations Send-A-Kid-To-Camp program, the Alexandria Sportsmans Club, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce and T.C. Williams High School.

The golden-teal Chevy Malibu LS presented to Wheeler was a last minute substitute when the original car slated to be presented to her was sold over the weekend.

Its no surprise the Malibu is so popular, said Herrity. Its a solid car and was named the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Wheeler was unconcerned with the last-minute switch and is eager to show off her new wheels as she makes appearances throughout the state.

I cant wait for everyone to see not only the car, but also to see how generous Steve and Alexandria GMC has been to me, said a grateful Wheeler. I still cant believe that Ill be able to travel the state in such a beautiful and safe car.

Wheeler will be making appearances throughout the area as she prepares to represent Virginia in the Miss America Pageant in January 2009.