Al Hendrickson Toyota
That’s what Al Hendrickson, Jr. did recently when his path crossed with a young parking valet in need.
Hendrickson and his father have been fixtures in South Florida since they put their names on a Toyota dealership in Coconut Creek in 1989. By following the slogan, “Al Cares,” their business has grown to become the top seller of new Toyotas in Palm Beach and Broward counties. So making appearances at community events, such as a reception for the International Italian Festival at the local Marriott hotel, is a common occurrence.
But what followed after Hendrickson handed the keys to his 4Runner to Brontz Alexis, a hotel parking valet, was decidedly uncommon. In fact, it had never happened.
Alexis, you see, greeted Hendrickson as he does all of the hotel’s guests: with a big smile. And a compliment on his shiny new 4Runner. In return, Hendrickson asked Alexis what kind of car he drove. That’s when he learned that the young man’s aging Volvo had been in the shop for over a week and was proving so unreliable that it was making it difficult for him to show up for work on time.
Later, at the reception, Hendrickson was invited to say a few words to the gathered dignitaries. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Alexis and his plight. So, in a completely spontaneous moment, he called the valet to join him on the stage where — to everyone’s surprise — he invited Alexis to come to the dealership and select a 2019 Corolla of his choice.
“We’ve always operated as if we’re in the people business, not the car business,” says Hendrickson. “I sensed a special need. And I felt a pounding in my heart to do something. I’ve given things away. To be honest, I’ve never given anyone a car.”
Alexis was overcome with gratitude.
“I was praying every night over my car troubles,” he says. “This gift was a blessing indeed.”
“Brontz is a nice young man who is excited and motivated to achieve a great future,” says Hendrickson. “Every day is an opportunity for a great adventure.”