CARING with COVID
By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The Strelec family of River Place has been cheerfully giving away hand sanitizer to help the Four Points community get through the coronavirus pandemic.
“In total we gave out to the community 1,400 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer… and 200 to 250 of the 16-ounce size to local businesses,” said Jon Strelec, president at The Tribeca Company and a partner at Dr. Beemer.
On five different days, the family set up a tent and handed out what amounted to gallons of sanitizer at Sun Tree Park in River Place and at Randalls supermarket in Steiner Ranch.
“Everybody we could, we helped out to give back a little bit,” Strelec said. “It’s our way of giving back to the community and to those who support us.”
He made the rounds to as many Four Points mom-and-pop shops as he could to hand out the larger bottles of sanitizer and to also encourage fellow business owners during this stressful time.
He too has had to pivot business at Dr. Beemer, which is a repair, maintenance and service shop located at 6325 RM 620 N. near Steiner Ranch Boulevard.
Strelec got the idea a few weeks ago after talking to his friend in Dallas who is a chemical distributor and who deals in large truckloads of various chemicals including ethanol.
When the virus pandemic hit, his friend partnered with another to manufacture the much sought-after sanitizer made from ethanol and other ingredients.
“He was selling massive truckloads of totes to hospitals in the Dallas area,” said Strelec, who asked his friend if he could buy a small amount. Not long after that he drove up to Dallas to pick up 180 gallons.
Strelec used the opportunity as a teaching moment for his sons Logan, 6, and
“I wanted to teach my boys it’s not all doom and gloom,” he said, “and that this is our way to give back to the community.”
Their home turned into a factory for a while. They ordered blue bottles of various sizes, filled them, and put Dr. Beemer labels on them.
“You knew which ones Liam did, some (labels) were upside down and some had two labels on (the bottle),” he said with a laugh.
His sons were part of the whole process including the final step of putting the sanitizer into people’s hands and “seeing how thankful they were.”
Some people tried to donate money for the sanitizer but Strelec would not take money.
“Yes, if we pull a few cars in the shop to help pay for some of the cost, that works,” he said.
Because of the COVID-19, Dr. Beemer started to pick up and deliver vehicles to customer’s houses complete with a bottle of hand sanitizer in the cup holder to say “thank you”.
They’ve had to handle estimates and payments remotely as well. They also have loaner cars for customers to drive and wipe down the vehicles often.
The shop, which primarily focuses on BMW, Mini, Land Rover, Mercedes and Audi vehicles, is the second of two locations. They plan to open their third site a year from now in Round Rock.
Strelec also made a commitment to keep all of his staff of six employees at the Four Points location as well as six at their 8901 South 1st Street location.
“We wanted them to keep their jobs and keep income coming in for their families,” he said.