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Student’s Saab Project Pays Off with $40,000 in Donations to the Houston Area Women’s Center

Charitable act gains national attention from Saab Cars North America (SCNA)

Houston, TX: In the summer of 2010, Sebastian Gupta, then Memorial High School junior was challenged by his parents, Yohanne and Linda Gupta, to embark on a project that would further his engineering and business knowledge, and benefit a local philanthropic organization.

This resulted in “The Saab Project,” in which Sebastian purchased and restored a 2000 Saab 9-5 Sedan to factory new condition, with the intention of auctioning it off for charity. Sebastian accomplished his first objective, and on August 4th, he will complete this challenge in the form of a $40,000 combined charitable donation for his chosen cause, the Houston Area Women’s Center.

“We are very proud of Sebastian’s hard work and the example he leaves for other students to follow,” expressed Linda and Yohanne Gupta. “We are also delighted by the enthusiastic recognition for Sebastian’s project and the generous contribution being provided by Saab to the Women’s Center.

These funds will be directed to provide quality care to the children seeking shelter at the Women’s Center, an excellent organization providing critically-needed and timely support to many women and their children.” Sebastian anticipated the sale of his refurbished Saab would raise $10,000 for the Women’s Center.

However, when the Houston media attention surrounding his story appeared in the online news search of Saab Cars North America (SNCA) President and COO, Timothy Colbeck, the project morphed into something much bigger.

“This project touched me in that Sebastian was taking the initiative to make an impact on the Center and improving his part of the world in his own way,” explained SCNA President and COO Timothy Colbeck. “That’s a very Saab-like value set. Our owners are independent thinkers who care about their world and the world around us. In that regard it just felt right for Saab to support him in some way.”

The final outcome is a $25,000 donation from SCNA and a $15,000 donation from IQ Products Company, a business owned by Yohanne and Linda Gupta. “At the Houston Area Women’s Center, helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence exposes us to the worst case scenarios of what people are capable of doing,”stated Rebecca White, President and CEO for the Women’s Center.

“However, the Guptas and Saab are shining examples of the very best of what people can accomplish, and we are truly moved by their support and commitment to our cause.”

The Saab Project videos and photographs:

http://www.youtube.com/user/saabproject#p/a/u/0/E7Kz3LIMdms

http://www.photobucket.com/saabproject

Press Conference/Check Presentation Information:
9:00 – 9:30am, Thursday August 4, 20111010 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX 77019

*interview and additional photo opportunities following presentation

Media Contact: Kelly Boros (713) 528-6798 ext. 2266
e-mail: kboros@hawc.org

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