One lucky senior in Starr or Hidalgo County will win a new 2011 Scion xB donated by Frank Smith Toyota-Scion owners Roland and Melissa Smith and Gulf States Toyota. No matter how you look at it, it’s a family affair.

Several years ago, Roland and Melissa, along with Roland’s parents, Frank and Joyce Smith, made a conscious decision to target their community giving efforts on children (“From college down,” as Melissa puts it), education and sports.

Toyota also made a family decision. They needed a new addition to their family of vehicles. So they created the Scion. (Pronounced sigh-un, the actual definition of the word is descendant or young family member.) According to Melissa, the contest focuses on seniors because they are considered “the new generation of educated buyers.”

When Scion contacted Roland and Melissa about the prospect of awarding one of their “babies” to a graduating senior, the husband and wife team jumped at the idea.

“The teacher in me went crazy,” Melissa said. “As a former teacher and now part of a family-owned business, I jumped all over it.”

The dealership’s general sales manager, Mark Sampson, jumped all over it, as well. “In the year-and-a-half that I have been in the Valley, I have met a lot of teachers who are our customers. I often ask them, ‘What are the greatest issues you face?’ and many of them practically shout, ‘ATTENDANCE.’”

Roland, Melissa and Mark wanted to establish qualifying criteria. Each high school will determine its own guidelines, but students entered into the drawing will be selected based on attendance, grades and discipline. They must meet all the requirements for graduation, as well.

The contest slogan reads:





A NEW 2011 Scion xB

“We want to send a message to students. Attend your classes, make decent grades and stay out of trouble,” said Melissa.

The Scion xB is currently sporting a wrap from FASTSIGNS; however, the graduate who wins the contest may customize and personalize it.

Participating schools must provide Frank Smith Toyota Scion with verified documents for the winning graduate. Eligible students’ names must be turned in to Mark at the dealership no later than 5:00 p.m. June 18, 2011. The drawing will be held on or about July 4, 2011.

Mark stresses the dealership’s commitment to education and the importance of graduating from high school.

“I call it TOMA,” he said, “Top-of-the-Mind Awareness.” TOMA is the ultimate goal in advertising, and for Roland, Melissa and Mark, this contest creates graduation TOMA.

It’s not too late to get involved. Official school representatives may contact Mark at, by calling 784-3390 or 212-5794, or by visiting the event website at

The 2011 Scion is available for display at school events, such as home athletic events, pep rallies and school concerts on a first-come, first-served basis. All registration forms, posters and other materials for participating schools are available at Frank Smith Toyota Scion.

Family decisions. A family of cars. Family values. Yes, it’s truly a family affair.