ROCKINGHAM — Sixteen-year-old Charles Duncan won’t have to worry about buying his first car.
The Richmond Senior High School student won a brand-new, fully loaded 2014 Chevrolet Cruz in Dieffenbach GM Superstore’s annual giveaway drawing on Thursday.
Dealership owner Jeff Dieffenbach said the drawing is his way of giving back to the community. Duncan is the 10th winner of a new car from Dieffenbach.
“Students who meet certain criteria, making good grades and having excellent attendance get their names entered for the raffle,” Duncan said. “They had three drawings for $100 prizes before they announced the winner of the car. My friends were like, ‘Ain’t nobody gonna win that car that we know,’” and I was like, “‘Yeah.’”
He didn’t quite hear the name when it was called. Friends sitting close to Duncan began to nudge him, telling him they thought the announcer had called his name.
“Another dude walked down there, but when he got there a teacher just waved him away and said, ‘Go on, you’re not him,’” Duncan said. “Then I listened and they called the name again, and it was me. I couldn’t believe it. Because of the other guy who went down there before me, I had to show them my school identification tag when I got there.”
Duncan’s mother, Tracy Waiters, and stepfather Donald Green were there with him as the papers were signed, making the car officially his.
“All we’ll have to pay for is his car insurance and the property tax,” Waiters said. “They pay for everything, and the car is free. It’s just amazing.”
Getting a car is one less thing for Duncan to worry about as he plans for graduation next year and the future that lies ahead. After high school, he intends to enter the military and study to become a field surgeon or doctor. He has not decided on a college yet.
“This is something I think is important, giving back to the community by rewarding hard work from the best and brightest students in Richmond County,” Dieffenbach said. “It makes me happy to be able to do this every year, and these kids really deserve it.”