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Thursday, 24 January 2013 15:58

Northern California Body Shops Gave Big in 2012

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Charity giving is alive and well for body shops in Northern California. Four collision repairer companies were among those who gave away refurbished cars through charitable efforts during 2012.

G&C Auto Body, Golden State Collision, Regal Collision and Mike’s Auto Body all stepped up last year and reached out to their respective communities in a huge way. By providing 15 needy families or non-profit organizations with vehicles, these shops changed their recipients’ lives literally overnight by giving them a new start and the independence of transportation.

On Nov. 11, Mike Rose’s Auto Body held the first of its two Benevolence presentations on Veteran’s Day at its Fairfield location. The second presentation was held at its Antioch location on December 12. A total of six cars were given away by the company, setting a bar for charity  amongst body shops in the Bay Area.

 

“Mike Rose’s Auto Body has been participating in the Benevolence Program for the last 12 years and with this year’s 40th Anniversary, we have now donated 40 cars to the community, one for each year in business,” Mike Rose’s Auto Body’s Marketing Manager Sal Contreras explained. “It’s been a great journey and we’re already working on the car giveaways for 2013 right now.”

On December 11, Golden State Collision in the Sacramento area gave four refurbished vehicles to local families. Presented in four giant wrapped boxes and then revealed at the company’s 6th Annual Community Benevolence Event, Golden State Collision partnered with Farmers Insurance Group, Allied/Nationwide Insurance, Safeco Insurance, Cottage Housing and St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children, Golden State Collision’s Marketing Manager David Finklestein explained.

“Community outreach is a big part of our whole approach to doing business. The value of all the things we do, including giving away food and clothing to people in need, is essential to our mission and integral to our role here in the cities we serve.

With all of our car giveaways, we try to find recipients who really just need some help, in the form of much-needed transportation. In many cases, these cars provide the last piece of the puzzle and will allow these individuals to succeed in their lives.”

On December 20, Regal Collision in Vallejo gave a refurbished 2006 convertible PT Cruiser to Brian Sepolen, a 43-year-old married veteran with three children. As a participant of the Akzo Nobel National Benevolence Program since 2004, Regal Collision’s Owner Jim Boyle always gets emotional every time he gives away a vehicle.

“I’m choked up,” Boyle said. “This is our annual gift to the community and we do it because we can and it just makes sense. Brian is definitely a very worthy recipient and we’re proud to be a part of this. In the collision industry, this program provides a wonderful opportunity to get everyone involved, including our parts providers, insurance companies and other local vendors. Plus, almost our entire crew steps up and plays a role, which is exceptional.”

Toward the end of last year, G&C Auto Body donated four refurbished vehicles to North Bay families that had come upon tough times for a wide range of reasons, including financial stress and/or health issues, according to the company’s COO Shawn Crozat.

“We gave away four vehicles in 2012 and we plan to gift a vehicle every month to a family in need. In 2013, we will be expanding the program to Mendocino and Solano County. We normally don’t like to advertise our charitable contributions, but we’re also a major sponsor for Secret Santa, a program that gives gifts to low income or at risk people. We’re also involved with Helping Hands and The Children’s Village, whose main purpose is to keep young family members together instead of separating siblings to different foster parents. As a company, we are in the business of making money, but we’re continually giving back to people in need, and that will surely never change.”

During the holidays, G&C donated $15,000 during a radio telethon for Secret Santa, a Sonoma-based organization that fulfills the Christmas wishes of 16,000 local people that have fallen on hard times, according to Crozat. “I am proud to say that our company made up 12% of the total dollars donated to help people at Christmas through this promotion on radio station KZST.”

Kent Bjugstad, general manager of Maverick Media, a company that owns and operates several radio stations, worked with the Crozat family to create the car giveaway promotion.

“We gave the cars away through our station 104.9 The Mix during our weekly morning show, hosted by Bob and Sheri. Gene and Shawn Crozat came to us and said we want to give some cars to people in need. But, whenever Gene does something he does it in a big way, because the man has a huge heart. After looking at some of the letters people submitted, Gene said let’s give away more than just one car. To date, G&C has given away four cars to people who really need them. In some cases, Gene took the recipients to the store to get clothes and other essentials. It’s rare when you find people like the Crozat family who are willing to give back without taking credit or having an agenda. They do it just because they can and because they care. Shawn has embraced his father’s charitable nature, and I know he’ll be continuing Gene’s legacy of giving to the community for many years to come.”

 

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