Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Donors put Brooksville volunteer back in driver's seat

Dixie Carley, 68, of Brooksville, is back on the road with a silver Toyota Camry. Church members helped the retired trucker, who transports elderly women to the store and doctor’s appointments, replace her 1991 van with 275,000 miles.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Dixie Carley, 68, of Brooksville, is back on the road with a silver Toyota Camry. Church members helped the retired trucker, who transports elderly women to the store and doctor’s appointments, replace her 1991 van with 275,000 miles.

BROOKSVILLE — The 68-year-old retired trucker is rolling again.

On Monday, Dixie Carley, a 24-year over-the-road veteran, slid behind the wheel of what she's calling "a Rolls-Royce of the Toyota line." The silver Camry XLE four-door sedan was made possible by friends and strangers who came to her aid when they learned that her 1991 Toyota van had "expired" at the 275,000-mile mark.

Left in the lurch was not only she, but elderly women, some in an assisted living facility, who depended on Carley to cart them to First Baptist Church of Brooksville, doctor's appointments and the grocery store.

Fellow church members Joyce Chiavroli and Todd Harris began a fund drive, including on the Web, seeking money for the disabled woman, who remains licensed to drive and who lives in subsidized housing.

A couple from the church became aware of Carley's plight through a story published in the Times and notified their son-in-law. As joint owner in several nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the younger man is acquainted with the needs of the elderly.

The son-in-law, who lives in Clearwater and wished to remain anonymous, offered a generous amount toward the purchase of a used vehicle, which was Carley's choice.

Her mechanic of some nine years, Michael O'Connor, owner of ToyoDoc of Brooksville, researched offerings in the area and pointed Carley and Chiavroli to Wesley Chapel Toyota. O'Connor and a sales rep at the dealership talked.

"Between the two guys, I think they already picked it out," Chiavroli said.

The most generous benefactor gave $7,200 while the remainder of the $9,000 price was made up by the church's gift of $500 and from lesser donations.

While Carley originally wanted a van, she told herself: "You ain't in no position to be picky; just take what the good Lord give you."

The sedan will easily cart three to four passengers, the most she usually ferries at a time.

Carley had coffee this week with her benefactor's in-laws.

"I hugged their necks because they had a good deal to do with this business, too," she said.

As for the vehicle, "It has more buttons than I've got teeth," Carley said. "It runs like a dream. It is beautiful. It's paid in full."

Beth Gray can be reached at [email protected]

Donors put Brooksville volunteer back in driver's seat 11/23/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 23, 2012 5:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mandarin Hide celebrates 7 years serving craft cocktails in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    ST. PETERSBURG

    With its mascot, a mounted buffalo head named Manny, decked out in streamers and a shiny party hat, the Mandarin Hide celebrated seven years of serving cocktails on Central Avenue last Thursday night.

    Mandarin Hide’s mascot, a buffalo head named Manny, donned streamers and a shiny party hat as the bar celebrated seven years of serving cocktails last week.
  2. Florida education news: Working conditions, school choice, teacher housing and more

    Blogs

    WORK CONDITIONS: Two teachers at a Pinellas County middle school request transfers out, saying the campus has become "hostile and racially charged." The …

    Pinellas Park Middle School
  3. Forecast: Break out those sweaters, Tampa Bay, as cooler weather just a day away

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents will finally be able to break out their sweaters and boots this week, but not until enduring yet another humid, rainy day to start the workweek.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Justin Timberlake in Super Bowl halftime show for first time since 'wardrobe malfunction'

    Celebrities

    Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

    Singer Janet Jackson covers her breast as Justin Timberlake holds part of her costume after her outfit came undone during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. The NFL announced Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson cause a national controversy. [Associated Press]
  5. Here's what happened when 30 high school sophomores gave up their phones for a day

    K12

    LUTZ — They were everywhere at Steinbrenner High School. Teens with panic-stricken faces, furiously slapping one thigh, then the other.

    Grace Hayes, 15, left, and Kai'Rey Lewis, 15, talk and text friends after having a discussion about smartphone technology in Tiffany Southwell's English Literature class at Steinbrenner High last week. Southwell asked theme to give up their phones for a day and write about it. For Lewis, the ride home that day "was the longest bus ride in my life." [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]