Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:00

Local Marine Driving Toward a Brighter Future

H&V Collision Center, one of the largest independently owned collision repair facilities in the Capital Region, hosted a Veterans Day luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 11, to give four deserving veterans and their families cars as part of the 2014 Keys to Progress.

The event, the seventh in a series hosted by H&V, comes after months of deliberation. The veterans and families were hand-selected based on their involvement with the military, their exemplary efforts to improve their families’ lives and their need for a reliable automobile.

“In our industry, people get in accidents and sometimes they’re severe and what happens is these cars are totally lost, irreparable. You can’t fix them anymore,” said Rich Tanchyk, assistant vice president at H&V Collision. “So what we do is we take these cars that are dead, because that’s what they are – they go to the junkyard, they cut them up, they don’t live anymore; and we recycle them, we bring them back to life. The cars look like they’re smiling because they almost know what their job is now.”

H&V Collision partnered with Goldstein Auto Group, Progressive Insurance, Enterprise, and other local partners to make these generous donations happen. Enterprise will be providing insurance coverage for all four vehicles. The cars also came equipped with car seats. Title and registration costs, along with tags, were generously paid for as well.Marine Corp veteran, Marcus Jackson of Ballston Spa, was among the four recipients who were awarded refurbished vehicles. Jackson was raised with 11 siblings by his grandmother and he joined the military in search of a better life. Now, Jackson cares for his 6-year-old daughter, Anessa, and 3-year-old son Ely while searching for a full-time position in which he is able to apply his experience from the Marines.There was no containing the excitement felt in the air as all four cars were unveiled. Jackson received a Ford sedan and his children were quick to hop in and check out their new ride.

“We love it,” said Anessa. “It’s great!”

Hearing that response and seeing his children’s reaction to the new family car was Marcus’ favorite part.

“I love it,” said Marcus. “That’s what it’s all about for me.”

Marcus says the car will help out his family tremendously, especially with day-to-day trips like school, doctor’s visits, and grocery store trips which add up.“She [Anessa] needs shots for school, so I have to take her to the pediatrician,” said Marcus. “Right now it’s a four-mile walk to the bus stop from where we live.”

Fellow recipients include Dan Cooper from Cherry Valley, Tom Kudlack from Watervliet, and Patrick Boyle of Queensbury.

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