Preston Automotive to sponsor new car raffle for Winter WonderFest

Winner to choose Jeep Wrangler or Ford Mustang
October 13, 2017

Not to worry, Santa has not traded in his sleigh. If anyone sees him touring Sussex County in a flashy new Ford Mustang or sporty Jeep Wrangler, it's because he's supporting Delaware's biggest holiday fundraising event. "Mr. Claus wants everyone to know that Winter WonderFest is just a short jaunt from anywhere in our state," said Peter Briccotto, executive producer. The event will be bigger, brighter and cooler than last year's inaugural fundraiser. "In response to community input, this year we have so much more going on," he said.

"Our sponsors' support is the lifeblood for Winter WonderFest," said Briccotto. He points out the event's enormous popularity means business sponsors can also enjoy the spotlight at this high-profile event. "We were so happy with last year's sponsorship, we knew we wanted to have a larger role this year," said David Wilson Jr., vice president of the Preston Automotive Group, Presenting Sponsor for 2017. The company has committed its generous support with a new car raffle to bolster the Winter WonderFest fundraising efforts to benefit Sussex County nonprofit groups.

In 2016, Festival of Cheer, the nonprofit group which organizes Winter WonderFest, awarded $100,000 in grants to 17 nonprofit groups throughout Sussex County. "With Preston Automotive's outstanding financial support, our goal is to provide more grants for an even larger number of organizations," said Josh Grapski, Festival of Cheer treasurer. "Preston's generosity underscores the importance of giving back to our Sussex County community."

"As community is one of our core values, it is important for us to be involved. And what better way than helping spread holiday cheer to Sussex County's residents and visitors," said JB Burnett, general manager of Millsboro Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, another Preston Automotive Group local dealership. And Santa couldn't be happier. He's starring in a WRDE-TV holiday special, driving home the message that Winter WonderFest is close to everything in Delaware. "I can't decide which model I like best," said St. Nick. "Sorry, Rudolph."

The winner of the car raffle will face the same dilemma, as Preston Automotive is offering the lucky person their choice of a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Mustang. "A $10 raffle ticket is all it takes for someone to find themselves behind the wheel in their choice of these fun cars," said Briccotto. "You can also improve your chances and get three tickets for just $25. Your ticket purchase significantly contributes to this worthy effort to support deserving Sussex nonprofits."

"Winter WonderFest is such a wonderful event," said Ryan McCracken, general manager at Boulevard Ford & Lincoln of Georgetown and Lewes. He said it is gratifying to see other local businesses offer their support. "For us at Preston Automotive Group, we hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to create priceless memories for their entire family," said McCracken.

Car raffle tickets are already on sale at Winter WonderFest's online site, as well as a number of convenient local outposts. Everyone can keep up with the vehicle locations on the Winter WonderFest Facebook page.

Briccotto said there is still time for local businesses to be included as official Winter WonderFest sponsors, with a variety of packages available. This community effort begins with a three-day Dashing through the Show grand opening Friday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov. 19. Visitors will be able to walk through the Light Spectacular at Cape Henlopen State Park at 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, for an opportunity to see the holiday lights up close and take photos with family and friends. There will also be a competitive 5K run, which also welcomes walkers, at 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19. At 6 p.m., dog lovers can bring their friendly pets on a leash to experience the show. For more information, to register or purchase tickets, go to or call the box office, 302-727-0221.

"In addition to our generous sponsors, Winter WonderFest would not be possible without its community-minded volunteers," said Briccotto. Last year a total of over 2,100 volunteer hours were needed to manage the Light Spectacular, the Christmas Village midway activities and Santa's Workshop. "It's such a great way to create your own special holiday memories. And with this year's new full scale ice rink from Visit Delaware tourism, we need even more volunteers. Why not do it with friends to enjoy all the festivities together!"

Proceeds support Winter WonderFest through the Festival of Cheer Community Grant Program. Grants awards are designated exclusively for Sussex County nonprofit groups. "The money we raise here, stays right here in Sussex County," said Briccotto. "Our website has all the information to become a sponsor and volunteer."

Winter WonderFest is produced by Festival of Cheer, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building traditions through the creation of cultural events, and creating brighter futures for those residing in or visiting Sussex County. For more information, go to