TR Footnotes FN.1210 : Page 1

TOWING & RECOVERY FACEBOOK ON 1400 Footnotes FOOTNOTES ® Join Towers! December 2010 Keeping industry pros on their tows www.trfootnotes.com SPOTLIGHT Dispatch Plus Focus on the new high-tech Page 14 HELPING OUT Recovery Assist Towers win who work together Ideas for towers on how to help in their communities Page 10 CHASSIS CHAT Towers’ Pick Ford up front, Jerr-Dan back Page 12 TOW DOCTOR S nore Lore Stopping the nightly noise Page 8 The annual Tow Trucks for Tots parade By Allan T. Duffin With the holidays upon us, many towing companies are getting into the spirit of giving, not only for their fam-ilies and friends but also for charitable organizations in their communities. ® Volume 21, Number 8 © 2010 Dominion Enterprises. All Rights Reserved. ❘ $3.95 Towing & Recovery Footnotes 10 Bokum Rd. Essex, CT 06426 PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PEORIA, IL PERMIT NO. 315 No matter how large or small your towing business, there are many ways that you can help make lives better for people in need. From small raffles to huge parades, towers often sponsor and participate in a wide variety of charity events. In addition to the good feeling you and your employees will share by giv-ing back to your community, any char-itable efforts you undertake — big or small — can only help your business. While few towers are charitable strictly for the good PR that comes with it, companies that show a dedication to the community as well as their cus-tomers inevitably find that charity work becomes an important part of building and marketing their business. Several towers have shared with us how they’ve donated their time, e x pertise, money, and other resources in order to help make life better for the people in their communities. If you’re not already in activities like these, maybe these stories will help you get started. Parades Imagine several hundred tow trucks, bumper-to-bumper, driving together for charity. If you’ve participated in the annual Tow Trucks for Tots parade, then you know just how amazing this lineup of vehicles looks as it traverses the Midwest. Pat Winer, owner of Worldwide Equipment Sales in Rockdale, IL, sponsored the first Tow Trucks for Tots parade in November 2008. Two hun-dred thirty-nine tow trucks traveled a 40-mile route from Joliet to Bridge-See TOW CHARITIE S , page 3

Charity Begins At Work

Allan T. Duffin

<b>Ideas for towers on how to help in their communities</b>

With the holidays upon us, many towing companies are getting into the spirit of giving, not only for their families and friends but also for charitable organizations in their communities.

No matter how large or small your towing business, there are many ways that you can help make lives better for people in need. From small raffles to huge parades, towers often sponsor and participate in a wide variety of charity events.

In addition to the good feeling you and your employees will share by giving back to your community, any charitable efforts you undertake — big or small — can only help your business. While few towers are charitable strictly for the good PR that comes with it, companies that show a dedication to the community as well as their customers inevitably find that charity work becomes an important part of building and marketing their business.

Several towers have shared with us how they’ve donated their time, expertise, money, and other resources in order to help make life better for the People in their communities. If you’re not already in activities like these, maybe these stories will help you get started.

<b>Parades</b>

Imagine several hundred tow trucks, bumper-to-bumper, driving together for charity. If you’ve participated in the annual Tow Trucks for Tots parade, then you know just how amazing this lineup of vehicles looks as it traverses the Midwest.

Pat Winer, owner of Worldwide Equipment Sales in Rockdale, IL, sponsored the first Tow Trucks for Tots parade in November 2008. Two hundred thirty-nine tow trucks traveled a 40-mile route from Joliet to Bridge-View, landing the parade in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest parade of tow trucks in history.

Winer wanted to contribute to the community but was looking for a unique way in which to do it. “I wanted to help less fortunate children who couldn’t enjoy a Christmas morning full of toys,” explained Winer, who hit on the idea of sponsoring a parade as the centerpiece of a local charity drive. Participants could donate toys at any of 50 drop-off locations — including Winer’s office and many towing companies — in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Word about the event spread quickly. “Towing companies find out about the parade through our website, by word of mouth, and articles in various publications,” said Winer.

This year’s Tow Trucks for Tots parade, held on November 8, featured vehicles from more than 190 towing companies. The parade started at the Caterpillar plant in Rockdale at 9:00 a.m. Participants drove their tow trucks 41 miles to the Toyota Park stadium in Bridgeview.

The parade organizers encourage the public to participate as well. “We ask that they line the parade route,” explained Winer, “and at the end of the parade they come to Toyota Park to view the trucks up close.”

Coincidentally, everything that’s collected for the tow truck parade is given to another local organization — one that sponsors a parade of its own. “All toys and monetary donations are donated to the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade,” said Winer. He’s already busy planning next year’s tow truck parade.

<b>Tournaments</b>

Speed’s Towing in Portland, OR, sponsors an annual charity golf tournament. “This year we raised $5,000 and donated it to the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Gary Coe, the owner of Speed’s Towing. For the past 30 years Make-A-Wish has helped children with life-threatening medical conditions, granting those kids the ability to fulfill the dream of a lifetime.

Coe said that Speed’s Towing works with a different charity during each golf tournament. Last year’s event generated $4,000, which Speed’s donated to the Oregon Humane Society. The Humane Society recently opened a new 24-hour medical care facility for the 10,000 animals that arrive for its care every year.

<b>Freebies</b>

In Athens, TN, Jerry’s Garage & Wrecker Service uses one of its trucks and a man-lift to hang advertising banners for the annual Shriner’s Rodeo. “We provide free towing if it rains and vehicles get stuck,” said owner Jerry Riggs, “along with free boost-offs if they leave their lights on by mistake, or something along those lines.” After the rodeo is over, Jerry’s Towing removes the banners.

<b>Auctions</b>

Another popular charity effort for towers is the vehicle auction. Since towers are used to working with vehi-Cles, why not use that expertise to raise money for charity?

The ongoing auto auction at Speed’s Towing in Portland generates $35,000 a week for local charities. “Over the years we’ve accumulated 22 different charities and non-profit organizations,” explained owner Gary Coe, “and have assisted them with, or initiated, their auto donation programs.”

These charities include the American Council of the Blind, Father Joe’s Villages, Goodwill, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland Rescue Mission and the Father’s Heart Street Ministry.

According to Coe, each charity or non-profit has a specific constituency to which it markets, and asks that constituency to donate cars and sometimes boats or recreational vehicles. “Then,” said Coe, “we go pick up the vehicle, clean it up, test drive it if possible — we’re located on a private road — and then sell it at the next weekly auction.”

How did Coe get involved with vehicle auctions? The event had its beginnings in lien sales of cars from police And private impound tows. “My friends in San Diego at RoadOne West operate a very successful auction,” explained Coe. “I went to school on how they operated their auction and who their charities were.”

The auction is well-attended by a variety of clientele including auto dismantlers, used cars dealers, curb stoners (non-licensed dealers), “and lots of retail public,” said Coe, adding that the event has become the largest public auction in the Portland area.

<b>Festivals</b>

A variation on this theme is the charity car and motorcycle show. A-Express Towing & Recovery of Palatine, IL, sponsors this type of event at Melas Park in the nearby city of Mt. Prospect. Held in conjunction with the annual festival of the Mount Prospect Lions Club, the Lion’s Paw Charity Car Show and Motorcycle Show runs over the Fourth of July holiday. For a $15 donation, vehicle owners get to show off their pride and joy.

A-Express sponsors the event with all proceeds going to the Lion’s Paw Charity. According to Rob Habel, owner of A-Express, last year’s event netted $2,400 from registration fees and raffles. Eighty-five participants displayed their vehicles to the public.

“The Lions Club’s main focus as a charity is helping the sight- and hearing- impaired,” said Habel. “They also help with natural disaster response.

It’s the largest service organization in the world.” Habel got involved in the car show four years ago, when the poor economy forced the original sponsor, a local auto dealer, to eliminate the event from its annual budget. “Originally we were just going to be a sponsor, but we ended up running it instead,” said Habel. “My staff volunteers their time To the show. They help with contacting local businesses about raffle donations, and on the day of the show [they] help with registration, setup of the cars, cleanup and distributing the raffles.”

Habel’s company pays all expenses associated with the show including trophies, magnetic dash plaques, and a DJ for music and entertainment. The raffle prizes are donated by local businesses and consist of anything from pens, hats and t-shirts to $125 certificates for car detailing. This year several outside vendors set up booths to showcase products of interest to the car enthusiast.

From a business perspective, Habel noted that the car show is a great way for local businesses to network while helping their community. “Entry bags are given out to each participant,” explained Habel. The bags contain items such as pens, paper, coupons for oil changes, and advertising for local businesses.

<b>Transport</b>

So far we’ve talked about groundbased charity efforts. But Ken Ulmer, president of Safetow in Houston, Texas, takes a different approach: he likes to deliver charity items by air. Ulmer, who also serves as the education chairman of the Texas Towing and Storage Association, uses his private plane to play Santa Claus as well as assisting with disaster relief.

Last year Ulmer and nine other pilots delivered Christmas gifts to underprivileged children in Galveston. “We loaded up our planes and flew down, just like Santa,” said Ulmer. “Many of the kids were victims of the area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.”

Though he’s unable to perform as much charity work as he’d like to, Ulmer is glad that he’s been able to turn a hobby into something that can help his community. “I’ve wanted to be a pilot ever since I was seven years old,” explained Ulmer, “and it finally became a reality in 2006.” Ulmer’s plane is a 2000 Piper Archer III, a fourseat single-engine model — perfect for delivering gifts or transporting passengers needing assistance.

In the end, it’s not just about the tow. By using whatever resources they have, charitable towers can make a real difference in their communities each and every day of the year.

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/Charity+Begins+At+Work/559384/53031/article.html.

Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here