The 2022 Subaru Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award

The 2022 Subaru Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award

We've been nationally recognized for our dedication to our customers, our community, and the Subaru Love Promise.

We're honored to receive the 2022 Subaru Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award. This award nationally recognizes elite Subaru retailers who provide an exceptional customer experience at every interaction with Subaru. These retailers have also demonstrated an outstanding commitment to supporting passions and causes in their local communities in important areas such as the environment, community, health, education, and pets.

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What is the Subaru Love Promise?

Subaru and our retailers believe in making the world a better place and the Subaru Love Promise is our vision of respecting all people. This is our commitment to show love and respect to our customers and to work to make a positive impact in the world.

How is Van Bortel Subaru of Rochester dedicated locally to the Love Promise?

At Van Bortel Subaru, our Love Promise to the Rochester and Finger Lakes region can be seen in our proud support of meaningful causes through our partnerships with local organizations, charities, and nonprofits. We're grateful not only to be a part of our community, but to serve it as well.

Lollypop Farm , Humane Society of Greater Rochester, Operation Freedom Ride

ADK, Adirondack Mountain Club , Genesee Valley Chapter

The Norman Howard School, The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

IACKids: It's About Caring for Kids, House of Mercy, Coffee Connection / Project Empower

Wilmot Cancer Center, Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester

Did Van Bortel Subaru of Rochester go above and beyond, provide exceptional service, or support causes that are important to you? We'd love to hear about it.

Love Promise Stories from Van Bortel Subaru of Rochester

Subaru and Van Bortel Subaru of Rochester believe in making a positive impact on the communities in which we live and work. We uphold that belief through our Love Promise Community Commitment. Every month, we select inspiring stories from customers and partners from around our area who strive to support our collective commitment and feature them here

Stranded College Student - Rebecca A

My Daughter drove from California to New York this Fall to attend college at Rochester Institute of Technology. She made this perilous journey in her 2002 Subaru Outback. As a Dad I had my misgivings a 20 year old Subaru could make a cross country trip but it did with no problems. Last week her Subaru started making a horrible clicking sound making right turns. My Daughter took her beloved Subaru into your Dealership on Henrietta road. Your excellent service technicians diagnosed the problem as a bad right front axel. After a through inspection they recommended both front axels be replaced just in case. The parts would take about a week to arrive so they gave her a rental in the meantime. Today she picked up her Subaru and couldn't be happier!! She told me on the phone "They even washed my car"! Thank you for being a wonderful Subaru Dealership!!

Stranded College Student

Willie and His Wheels - Kayla F

From an injured stray to a resilient, determined, happy, ball loving guy.. meet Willie! Willie is a 2-3 year old Red Heeler that was found as a stray in a rural Tennessee woods. When he was found he was very scared and injured so badly that he was unable to use his back legs. Once evaluated by a vet, it was assumed that Willie had been hit by a car and been injured for some time. It was also clear that unfortunately his back legs would need to be amputated. Operation Freedom Ride stepped up to give him a chance and his amputation was performed. 15 days after his amputation Willie was driven from TN to NY where he was placed into a foster home. When Willie arrived at his foster home in NY, he was so physically weak from the recent amputation however it was clear he had a desire to move and interact with the world around him. He had two major incisions that needed to heal as well as muscles that needed to develop and learn how to move his body on only two legs. Emotionally, Willie was also in need of care as he was very guarded and kept to himself. He did not seek out attention, and insistence on laying on the hard floor, even though a comfortable dog bed was provided. It was clear that Willie was scared, confused, and overwhelmed. Willie was immediately seen by a pet rehab doctor in NY to start physical therapy and a custom-made wheelchair was ordered. Once Willie received his wheels, his world opened up and he was able to play fetch and explore freely once again! He has worked so hard and has gained so much strength in his front legs that he is also now able to navigate his foster home with ease. Although it has been slow, Willie has learned to trust his foster parents. He has come such a long way with his training and has started to seek out attention and affection. Willie is now truly thriving and so so happy. He loves to play fetch, go on outings, play with his foster fur siblings, and get scratches and pets. Willie is truly a dog who had a will to live and a drive to adapt to his new challenges. He was given a second chance, and he has not stopped running with that. Although he is loved and cared for in his foster home, the very last thing Willie needs to make this a true happy ever after is a permanent adoptive home. Willie’s transformation has been possible due to the financial help provided by generous donors such as Subaru. Willie's wheelchair, physical therapy, behavioral evaluation to help him grow emotionally confident again, and ongoing care needs gets very expensive. Due to the financial help OFR has received, none of Willie's needs have had to go unaddressed. Willie would not be where he is today without generous donors such as Subaru.

Operation Freedom Ride
Willie and His Wheels

Fana's First Car - Fana T

Kitty Van Bortel made it possible for Fana T. to purchase her very first car, a used Subaru. It is life-changing for a single mom with a 12 year old daughter. Fana has worked incredibly hard to overcome numerous challenges, and has relied on rides from friends or public transportation for years - very difficult when you are going to school, working, attending support programs, getting your child to varied appointments, and doing everything possible to build a solid life with limited resources. Kitty hand-picked what she thought would be the best car for Fana, kicked in some of the funding needed along with two of Fana's friends to supplement what Fana had been able to save over a couple of years, and made sure her staff got the car in tip-top shape before Fana took possession. Fana and we who care for her so much are incredibly grateful for Kitty's personal attention to this need, and to her genuine caring for women who are working diligently to overcome the difficulties in their lives.

Fana's First Car

Van Bortel Subaru - Mark D

We want to send a special thank you to the employees at Van Bortel Subaru of Rochester who spent a recent afternoon with us volunteering at one of our Foodlink food distributions. Foodlink, a food bank based in Rochester, NY, serves a 10-county region in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. To date, we've organized more than 600 drive-thru food distributions to help alleviate the rise in food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 40 of those distributions have been held -- almost on a weekly basis -- in our parking lot in northwest Rochester. More than 300 households are served during a typical distribution. Although the pandemic has forced us to abandon "group" volunteer experiences for much of the past year, we were pleased to finally open up that opportunity with proper safety protocols in place, and Van Bortel Subaru was among the first groups we called. They were on our short list of partners because of the amazing partnership formed between Subaru and Feeding America food banks this past year. Subaru mobilized quickly to send a group of volunteers to our facility to help distribute food into people's vehicles on a beautiful spring day. We can't thank them enough for their support, and their willingness to see first-hand, how big of an impact that the Subaru Loves to Help campaign has had on communities nationwide.

Foodlink
Van Bortel Subaru

Watson the Underdog - Carly H

As one of the owners of Operation Freedom Ride in Rochester, NY I am able to see firsthand how partnering with Van Bortel Subaru has helped us save many animals! In the past they have collected donations from the community for us and promoted our rescue through branding on their website, Facebook page and billboards in the community. This initiative in particular is the biggest one yet and will help us pay for a lot of vetting fees and also transportation of animals from underfunded shelters in the south up to Rochester. Here is the story of one of our underdogs named Watson. Saving dogs like Watson is feasible due to partnerships and sponsorships from companies like Van Bortel Subaru! Watson was in rough shape when we saved him. He was in a crowded underfunded shelter in the south. The kennels were damaged and falling apart and another dog broke loose. This other dog attacked sweet Watson and almost killed him. When the shelter worker arrived to the scene she said it was a blood bath. Watson was badly injured and terrified. He was also heart worm positive needing treatment that’s very rigorous on the body. In the condition he was in after the attack, he wouldn’t survive undergoing the treatment in the stress of the shelter. We got him into a calm, safe foster home where he could start treatment and begin working on getting healthy enough to make the trip to NY. This young pup about a year old had a will to persevere! After given time to heal, rest, decompress and finish his treatment he was finally ready for his freedom ride to Rochester , NY where he was adopted by an amazing family. He now is in the best home ever living the good life, soaking in all the love and attention he deserves. He’s the absolute best family dog and spends his days playing, eating treats, and loving on his humans!

Operation Freedom Ride, inc.
Watson the Underdog

Our Champion! - Meredith U

The Breast Cancer Coalition is grateful to Kitty Van Bortel and Van Bortel Subaru for sharing the love with us! Thanks to your ongoing partnership our programs and services are offered free of charge; regional breast cancer research is funded; and legislative policies impacting breast cancer survivorship and research remains a priority. Cancer does not stop due to a pandemic, and neither do we. Moving our programs online and continuing to support our survivors has been possible because of generous support from partners like Van Bortel Subaru. The Breast Cancer Coalition is truly grateful to Van Bortel Subaru for all that you do to help breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in our community!

The Breast Cancer Coalition

Boston's Story - The Subaru Love Promise - Norm A

When I first heard the term “The Subaru Love Promise”, I was intrigued to find out more about it. It was natural for me to assume it was about Subaru’s commitment to quality, excellence, and outstanding service to the customer. So what’s new about that? In fact in my thirty some years of experience with Van Bortel Subaru, that’s exactly what my family has received, every time! It started the very first time my wife and I met Kitty Van Bortel, and her Sales Manager, Peter Rosser in Victor, NY. I knew instantly that Kitty was destined for success and greatness in a very competitive industry when she had changed the industry pricing methodology to a single, fair and competitive price for a car without the usual haggling to get to the bottom line, backed by Subaru’s quality and superior service. I could dwell on the many accolades and awards that Kitty has won over the years, including being named in The Top 100 Women Executives in the United States; the list goes on and on and will continue. The fact that Kitty and Peter still work together after so many years is demonstrative of their loyalty and integrity. But, I found out The Subaru Love Promise goes far beyond just the selling of cars! It is the vision to show love and respect to all people at every interaction with Subaru. Van Bortel Subaru has made a lifetime connection with our family, so much so, that we have owned 8 Subaru’s. It is Van Bortel’s dedication to excellence in every respect that makes them stand heads and shoulders above their competition. The honesty and integrity shown is beyond reproach. The primary category of The Subaru Love Promise which I think that Van Bortel Subaru personifies is “Subaru Loves to Care”. This category really hits home as our grandson, Boston, age 10, was born with cerebral palsy and cannot stand or walk in spite of 5 surgeries including one wherein he was in a full-body cast from chest to toes for six weeks. Despite that, his passion is to play golf every day, and our family of four generations of golfers helped him around the course, but it became too arduous. After significant research, we found a “paramobile” which enables him to stand up and do many activities. The cost of the paramobile is expensive, but well worth it, so we came up with the idea of a “fundraiser”. It is with this “Love to Care” that Kitty Van Bortel volunteered to become our major sponsor for our fundraiser. She reviewed and offered guidance, expertise, and love to support a physically challenged boy. Members of her staff, Peter, Ruth, Alex all participated in the development of our fundraiser. It was not unusual to have discussions even on weekends. Her entire staff was committed to the success of our fundraiser. In fact, due to the coronavirus and the stringent social distancing efforts, the announcements and introductions were held on an asphalt parking lot on a hot, sunny, 90 degree day. Kitty and her staff selflessly endured those conditions to make our fundraiser successful. The end result of this “Love to Care” by Kitty resulted in raising nearly $40K for the “Stand Up & Play Foundation” which has provided a paramobile and trailer for Boston, with any excess going to other physically challenged people. Most importantly, Subaru, Kitty, and her staff, have directly impacted and positively improved our grandson’s life. For that reason, we nominate Kitty Van Bortel for the role model of “The Subaru Love Promise”.


A Subaru and heartwarming experiences to love. - Micheline D

I am so happy with my purchase (I love my Subaru!) and with the outstanding and friendly service I have consistently received from Van Bortel Subaru of Rochester, from all areas of the dealership. Everyone who helped me, and especially Steve Mueller (Service Manager), Cassandra Conklin (Service Advisor), and Amy Zimmer (who sold me my car), was wonderful. This is my ninth car in my life, and my first Subaru (I've owned Hondas and Volvos in the past). This is also the first time I brought my Subaru in for service, and I keep telling my friends and family how impressed I am with every experience I have here. Amy has been outstanding, helping me past the sale with genuine caring and very quick help; Cassandra was amazing, very skilled and efficient and also compassionate when I told her I had asthma, making sure there were no odors in the car that would trigger my asthma before she released it to me; Steve put my mind at ease, listening to my concerns and making me feel comfortable with answers to my questions. Everyone else whom I have met has been very helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable, making every experience here satisfying and heartwarming. From my 30 years of car ownership experience, that type of service is very rare -- especially these days -- and I am grateful to have this wonderful team helping me with my car now and in the many years ahead that I plan to have this car. Thank you!

A Subaru and heartwarming experiences to love.

Our Coffee Connection. Brewing a Better Tomorrow. - Joy B

Brewing a Better Tomorrow. One Cup, One Day, One Woman at a time. The Coffee Connection/Project Empower is honored to supply our excellent coffee to Van Bortel Subaru and all of the Van Bortel dealerships in the Rochester, NY area. There are many ways to empower women in recovery from addiction, trauma and incarceration and one way is to support the business that supports their program, providing them with employment training—and jobs! The Coffee Connection’s staff is made up of employees and interns, all of whom have a history from substance abuse. But that’s not all Kitty has done for us! She hosted us for a retreat at one of her dealerships and spent the day listening and encouraging our women. We have a beautiful logo that Kitty’s support translated into signage on our windows. Kitty produced a video for fundraising and continues to support us, taking a personal interest in women that are on their journey to self-sufficiency. As our women become the leaders that will carry our mission into the future, we know that Kitty will be our cheerleader and supporter.

Coffee Connection / Project Empower
Our Coffee Connection. Brewing a Better Tomorrow.

Supporting people with food for the holidays. - Stephanie B

House of Mercy was delighted when we found out that employees of Van Bortel were eager to donate their holiday turkeys and hams to The House. This meant we could support more people in the community with fresh meat and food for the holidays. Catherine Mcauley, the founder of Sisters of Mercy says "No matter how small the gift, God gives the increase." We are eternally grateful to our friends at Van Bortel for giving so selflessly.

House of Mercy
Supporting people with food for the holidays.