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Wednesday, 24 November 2010 16:46

CAA East Bay Hosts Toys for Tots Truck Customizing Competition

The California Autobody Association’s East Bay chapter hosted its signature 13th annual Toys for Tots Model Truck Customizing Competition on Nov. 16 at the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, CA.

More than 300 CAA members and friends attended the dinner, raffle, and truck competition, which raised money for Toys for Tots and Bridge Intervention Services. The latter is an organization that was established in 1999 to address the growing need for effective intervention with at-risk youth who are experiencing the negative cycle of current destructive youth culture.

“The purpose of the agency is to create ‘Bridges of Opportunity’ to youth, their families and the community,” Kathy Mello, owner of T.G.I.F. Body Shop in Fremont said. “Through collaboration with individuals, local businesses, professionals, and various agencies, the program seeks to provide a channel of innovative networks which will enhance the overall intervention process.”

Ten East Bay body shops and auto repair school programs entered the competition. Each was given an identical Nylint die-cast truck to modify and customize for the contest.

First place went to Crockett’s Premier Auto Body in Pinole. Second place went to the College of Alameda in Alameda with a Coca-Cola truck, and third place was awarded to Mike’s Auto Body in Concord for a modified Budweiser truck/hot rod.

The People’s Choice award also went to Crockett’s Premier Auto Body Service for “The InTimagator” (named after SF Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum) its San Francisco Championship BBQ truck, complete with smoke machine and grilled baseballs representing all of the teams that lost in the playoffs on the Giant’s road to the World Series.

The Educational Best-of-Class award, given to the best truck entered by an educational institution, went to the College of Alameda.

Louie Bain, a technician at Crockett’s Premier Auto Body was the prime creator and designer of the winning customized truck.

“We put over more than 60 hours of time building and painting the truck,” he said. “We wanted to play tribute to our championship team and this was our way of doing it. We’re thrilled to have the winning truck and to play a part in raising money for a good cause. We’d also like to thank Basil Platt from Concord donated his time pin striping the ball, spoiler, around the flames and the lettering.”

The CAA East Bay chapter also gave several educational institutions money for their auto repair programs. Contra Costa College, Mission Valley ROP, and the College of Alameda all received grants from the CAA East Bay chapter.

“It’s encouraging when organizations like CAA raise funds for us for scholarships and supplies,” Peter Lock, department chair of the auto technician program at Contra Costa College, said. “The CAA East Bay chapter has always been an outstanding supporter of our program, and we greatly appreciate it. The students always get into designing and building these model trucks, an every year we see more and more top entries from the schools involved.”

Mike Govette, branch manager for Finish Master in Concord, has been organizing the event for 13 years and said he was very pleased with the turnout this year.

“I’m so pleased to keep this event going year after year with great attendance like tonight,” Govette said. “Reaching out and helping people in need is a big part of what we’re doing with this organization and so many body shops and schools get involved every year, which is so amazing!”

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