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Community helps infamous ‘Auburn butt lady’ buy new van

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    AUBURN, California (KOVR) — A community came together to help a woman known for her work to clean up their town. Thanks to their help, the “Auburn Butt Lady” scored herself a new set of wheels.

Sally Dawley’s hobby is as addictive as the cigarette itself.

“I just got hooked,” she said with a laugh.

After years of collecting, she inches toward her 2-millionth cigarette butt and doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.

“Am I going to stop at 2 million or keep going to 3 million?” asked Dawley.

Thousands of butts fill a jug in her classic 1986 Ford pickup. She bought the truck brand new. Her warning signs and stickers decorating it make it hard to miss around town.

“It’s part of my life,” she said.

But it’s a part of her life she may soon need to retire, as it hits more than 330,000 miles on the odometer.

“Her car is just worn out,” said Samantha Sexton, who helps service Dawley’s truck at Five Star Auto Care in Auburn.

She knew when it came time.

“She’s taken good care of it,” Sexton said. “But there’s not availability on parts.”

Wanting to do her part to give back, Sexton started a GoFundMe fundraiser to buy Dawley a new vehicle. Sexton said Dawley, a cancer survivor, needs a reliable set of wheels to get her to and from doctor appointments.

“We knew people would come together but we didn’t expect all this,” Sexton said.

After a couple thousand dollars were collected, the surprise dropped when a donation of a van came in for the “Butt Lady.” Auburn Auto Doctors owner, Wayne Trimble, felt compelled to donate a Honda Odyssey to Dawley. She was touched.

“It just amazes me,” Dawley said. “I’m thankful for people being appreciative.”

It’s a change of pace for the woman known to do so much for her town, as this time, Auburn drives it home for her.

“I just didn’t realize what it would be like,” she said.

Having to switch gears, Dawley said she’s changing up her stick-shift driving routine, and going automatic, but either way helps fuel her mission of collecting another million butts – and cleaning her community.

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