Saturday , January 29 2022

For the Cummings, focus has always been on community and giving back

When Cliff and Bobbi Cummings arrived from the east Coast to San Bernardino 30 years ago, they always envisioned raising their family here and being part of the community.

The year was 1990 when Cliff Cummings arrived with the intent to purchase Chuck Obershaw Toyota which had operated for many years on E Street in San Bernardino.  Bobbi Cummings would join Cliff the next year after they had completed the arrangements to move from Virginia and begin their new adventure.

The city was beginning to experience trying times with the closure of Norton Air Force Base and other challenges, but the Cummings were undeterred and determined to make their new business venture successful and contribute not only to the local economy, but the wellbeing of the San Bernardino community as well.

It did not take long for Bobbi Cummings to become active in the Assistance League of San Bernardino which hosts the famous Headdress Ball and raises funds for dental services and other needs for young people in our community.

“When we got established in San Bernardino with the Toyota dealership, the Assistance League was a natural fit for us and we have been active with them ever since,” said Bobbi Cummings.  “They provide so much needed help to young families in San Bernardino, particularly those that fall within the gap between those with insurance and those who qualify for government programs.”

Bobbi Cummings is also a member of First Presbyterian Church of San Bernardino which has been sponsoring a mentoring program for students at San Bernardino High School called Life Skilz Circle that strives to increase graduation rates and future education success for students.  The program consists of 15-20 students, with participation as high as 40-50 students pre-pandemic, who are referred by San Bernardino High School teachers.

Students meet at San Bernardino High School on a weekly basis with adult church members to work on communication and interview skills and provide mentoring opportunities.  The program works primarily with minority youth which make up the largest neighborhood demographic at the High School and also provides paid internship and scholarship opportunities.  One of their notable graduates is Alexander Mattison, running back for the Minnesota Vikings.

The program motto is “Communicating with Clarity and Listening with Respect,” said Mrs. Cummings.  Most of the students move on to higher education opportunities including local community colleges as well as University of California and California State University colleges.

Cliff Cummings, an avid golfer, has been actively involved in the First Tee youth golf program in the Inland Empire that “provides active learning experiences for youth that build their inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience.”

“I’m a strong supporter of junior golf programs because of the self-discipline it generates in young people, “said Cummings.  “The players learn to follow strict rules and to police themselves.”

The Cummings, both personally and through their businesses have also been major contributors to Santa Claus Inc. and the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Communities, and they encourage their employees to participate in charitable efforts as well.  This year, employees of the Cummings Auto Group raised $20,000 for the 2021 Inland Women Fighting Cancer’s Believe Walk.

“Our employees have really stepped up to the plate for non-profit organizations in San Bernardino, both through donations and participation,” said Cliff Cummings. “I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts that our business family has made to the residents of San Bernardino and the local community.”

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