A holiday gift

Pictured, left to right, are Mark DeWitte, Treasurer of Four Square, Inc., Dr. Blaine Jones, President of Four Square, Inc., Mandy Kenner, Director of Child Nutrition, and Matt Hixson, Director of Hawkins County Schools.

ROGERSVILLE — During this time of Thanksgiving and with the Christmas holidays rapidly approaching, it is nice to know that one local business is in the giving spirit.

Automotive Scientific located in Rogersville was established in 1990 by owner/founder/President Don Messina. Automotive Scientific reverse engineers and rebuilds automotive electronic parts to be used in many automotive components.

“Having been in business almost 30 years, we wanted to think outside of the box as to ways to give back to our community. My staff and I feel very blessed and we simply wanted to pass that same feeling along to the community we work and live in,” Messina said. “We would love for our donation to be an example to other businesses in our area to rally and give during this time of year. It would be fantastic” he continued.

What Automotive Scientific and Don Messina have elected to do seems out of the ordinary, but it is something that is much needed in our area. The outstanding Hawkins Co. School District balance of student meal accounts at the time of inquiry was $12,974.82. These negative meal balances were from 10 of the 18 schools in Hawkins County. Mr. Messina donated $13,000 to Four Square, Inc., a nonprofit entity here in Hawkins County ,which is overseen by Dr. Blaine Jones and Mark DeWitte, with specific instructions that the donation is to be used to pay off this outstanding balance on the meals.

Arrangements were then made by Four Square, Inc. with Mandy Kenner, Director of Child Nutrition of Hawkins County Schools, and Superintendent Matt Hixson, to present a check to cover the balance.

“We were initially shocked and then just overwhelmed with the generosity of Mr. Messina and his company, Automotive Scientific. Number one, whoever thinks of helping in such a way and number two, who follows through with it,” Kenner expressed.

Superintendent Hixson was surprised at the offer and subsequent gift.

“I would have never dreamed someone would have selected school lunches as an area to make a gift,” he said. “There are obviously many within our school system that cannot afford to pay for their overdue school lunch accounts, so this donation, this gift will help them out and help us out tremendously as we move forward in our school year.”

Having just moved through the Thanksgiving holiday season and moving into the Christmas season, Messina and Automotive Scientific felt there could not be a better time to express their gratitude to their community than at a time such as this.

“Honestly, we just wanted to give back to the community that has supported us all these years. We are hoping that our donation will act as an example, a catalyst of sorts for other businesses in our area to contribute to local needs, of which there are many” Messina added.

Four Square, Inc. has been involved in the local community as a 501c3, nonprofit organization for almost ten years. Serving as an umbrella entity for many projects down through the years, Four Square continues to serve in many ways. They were the umbrella organization for the Rogersville 4th of July Celebration and still function in that capacity for the People Loving People Thanksgiving Dinner and Rogersville Men’s Prayer Breakfast. They have been involved in helping with organizing efforts to help in relief following the tornado outbreaks in Greene County several years ago and continue to offer their help in other disaster related events when needed.

“We have collected furniture to help with victims of house fires. We have helped homeless families get established in a livable domicile. We have helped our community in many other ways as well. When Mr. Messina approached us about his gift, it was a no-brainer that we would be happy to be involved and be a part of making this happen for the Hawkins County School System,” said Four Square co-founder, Mark DeWitte.

“We thrive on monetary donations that make many of our undertakings a workable situation”, said Dr. Blaine Jones. “We can pass along contributions such as the one from ASI and Mr. Messina or we can utilize donations right here in our community just as this one was. All donations are used here locally and neither Mark or I have taken one cent since we began our community services over 25 years ago.”

If you would like to make a donation to help support any or all of their community services, you can do so by sending a check to Four Square, Inc., P.O. Box 35, Rogersville, TN 37857.

“We at Automotive Scientific hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and we wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” Messina added.