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Rolly: Mormon discount? When it comes to car rentals, faith matters

Published August 1, 2014 10:55 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Pastor Sheldon Bryan is preparing to take members of his two Salt Lake City Seventh-day Adventist congregations to Oshkosh, Wis., next week for the faith's Pathfinder Camporee.

When he took congregants to California for a churchwide event in March, he received a favorable rate from Budget Car Rentals in Salt Lake City in terms of tax breaks and a waiver of the extra fee for using multiple drivers.

So he went back to Budget to rent two seven-passenger and two 12-passenger vans, letting the clerk know it was for a church and requesting the same favorable rate.

It was a different clerk this time, however, and she was happy to provide the discount, putting in a code on the purchase agreement that began LD7.

Bryan recognized that she may have been assuming it was an LDS Church outing and wanted to ensure she understood it was for another denomination.

When he said he was with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the discount was revoked. After checking with a supervisor, she told him that the company has an arrangement with the LDS Church because of the volume of rentals it makes.

The discount doesn't apply to all churches.

So he took his business this time to Avis, whose agent gave him his personal employee discount.

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Blowup in Bluffdale • The Bluffdale Family Fun Rodeo next week got some animal-rights groups so concerned that their reaction has spurred the rodeo chairman to cancel one event.

That advertised event, for children under age 11, was called Barnyard Bonanza and invited "little cowboys and cowgirls" to "come and chase around chickens, kittens, goats, rabbits and more! Whatever you catch, you get to take home."

The rodeo chairwoman, Brandy Elegante, also posted on a Herriman yard sale Facebook page, asking that unwanted pets be donated to the event. That raised fears among animal-rights groups that pets given to the event could be abused.

An emotional Elegante told me this event has gone on at the rodeo for years and no animal has ever been hurt.

She said her request on the yard sale page was intended to take pets otherwise headed for the pound and give them a home. Because the reaction has been so "awful," she told me, stuffed animals will be given to the kids instead.

Cross-jurisdictional projectiles • When a homeowner staging a private party set off a 20-minute fireworks display July 20, complaining neighbors weren't sure which police agency to call.

The fireworks came from a home on Atkin Avenue above 2000 East, which is in unincorporated Salt Lake County and is part of Millcreek Township. But the rockets' red glare illuminated over nearby Tanner Park, which is in Salt Lake City.

So both agencies got calls.

Eventually, it was Unified Police that showed up and surmised the fireworks display was legal.

One neighbor said the smoke was as thick as heavy fog, freaking out pets and small children.

The party host works for a company that makes pollution-detecting instruments.

Disruptive innovation • In other Days of '47 festivities, The Deseret News' float was engaged in a little mishap that clogged a parade route and caused some marching bands to sidestep around it while blaring their horns and beating their drums.

The float broke down in the Bountiful Handcart Days Parade on July 23, forcing several entries, besides the bands, to veer around it.

The float carried the Days of '47 slogan: "Pioneers Pushing Toward Our Future."

Perhaps a better slogan: "Pioneers needing a little push."

prolly@sltrib.com