Outreach/Philanthropy

LHM dealers raise $23,500 in school supplies for Colorado students

DENVER - 

Larry H. Miller Dealerships announced Wednesday that it collected nearly $23,500 in school supplies during the company’s “Stuff for Students” campaign this summer.

 Throughout August, 11 participating LHM dealerships’ stuffed a vehicle with much-needed school supplies.

In partnership with 9News, Volunteers of America Colorado Branch (VOA) and other business partners, the company collected enough supplies to benefit 60,000 students last month.

“We are fortunate to have a great team of partners like Larry H. Miller Dealerships who come together to support 'Stuff for Students' every year,” Volunteers of America Colorado Branch director of volunteer programs Bradley Gulley said in a news release.

“Thanks to the donations from Larry H. Miller Dealerships, their employees, and their customers, families can focus on school and not the financial burden of the cost of school supplies. These contributions will make a real difference in the communities we serve,” he continued.

Since 2015, LHM has donated an estimated $50,000 in school supplies, according to the group.

The cost of school supplies continues to increase and parents can often spend over $900 on supplies for a high school-aged student, according to VOA.

In the counties served by VOA, approximately 23 percent of the 743,255 students live in poverty, compared to the state average of just 14.7 percent, the organization said. 

The supplies from the “Stuff for Students” campaign go to students within more than 15 school districts who are in low-income households or homeless.

Additionally, just before the school year began for students, LHM also gifted a $5,000 grant to Operation Outreach-USA at Coronado Hills Elementary School to provide 450 books. The program aims to improve reading proficiency among students in kindergarten through fourth grade in low income and poor-performing schools.

10 steps to watch for flood-damaged vehicles

CARY, N.C. - 

With two Category 4 hurricanes striking the United States during the past two weeks, the National Automobile Dealers Association offered 10 inspection tips for prospective buyers to spot flood-damaged vehicles.

As what’s left of Hurricane Irma cut through Georgia and Alabama on Monday, the impact left a day earlier in Florida was significant.

According to updates posted on its website, ADESA did not open its Florida facilities in Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando, Ocala and Jacksonville on Monday. ADESA Atlanta was set to close at 1 p.m. on Monday. ADESA Birmingham opened on Monday, but officials said the Alabama facility was operating with a limited staff.

While ADESA said its Orlando operation still was planning to have its dealer consignment sale on Tuesday, and its regularly scheduled consignment sale in Atlanta on Wednesday was still scheduled, the company emphasized that dealers and consignors should monitor its website for potential changes.

No matter how dealerships might be acquiring inventory in the coming weeks, NADA urged used-car managers and operators to watch for potentially damaged vehicles by taking these steps it listed on its website:

1. Check a vehicle’s title history using the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or a commercially available vehicle history report service, such as Experian or Carfax, etc. Reports may state whether a vehicle has been flood damaged.

2. Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.

3. Check for recently shampooed carpeting.

4. Look under the carpeting for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.

5. Inspect for interior rust and under the carpeting, and inspect upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.

6. Check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and note any mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.

7. Check for rust on screws in the console and in other areas water would normally not reach unless the vehicle was submerged.

8. Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.

9. Inspect electrical wiring for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.

10. Inspect other components for rust or flaking metal not normally found in late-model vehicles.

NAMAD gets involved in hurricane relief

In light of historic hurricane disasters in Texas and Florida, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealershas spearheaded the NAMAD Disaster Relief Fund to assist employees and families of NAMAD members in these affected areas.

In a member-wide call to action, NAMAD has asked members to contribute $2,000 for each dealership they own to this crucial Fund.

“The response has been amazing,” NAMAD chairman Irving Matthews said in a news release. “We have already collected more than $400,000 towards our goal of raising $1 million.  Even our dealerships in the affected areas have donated, despite the potential for huge financial losses. 

“All of the monies raised will be distributed to NAMAD member dealer employees and their families to help them deal with the loss of income, housing and stability hurricanes Harvey and Irma have created,” Matthews continued. “Like millions of Americans coast to coast, we've made a commitment to help those in need, and help jumpstart the rebuilding process.”

NAMAD acknowledged it will take months for the most severely damaged businesses to rebuild.  This, too, prolongs the crisis for affected families.

“NAMAD calls on the insurance industry to be expedient in processing claims for losses during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” NAMAD president Damon Lester said. “We also thank automobile manufacturers for accelerating vehicle removal and staging so damaged inventory can be replaced as quickly as possible.

“Texas and Florida represent two major markets for new vehicle sales in the U.S., and NAMAD and others are doing our part to assist those in need,” Lester said. “If all companies that support the automobile industry react and respond with immediacy and purpose, we can, more quickly, put Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the history books.”

Storm roundup: Auction arbitration change; NADA reiterates call to help

CARY, N.C. - 

The weather-related developments connected to the used-vehicle industry arise seemingly by the day now that it’s near the height of hurricane season.

While the National Auto Auction Association Standards Committee made an adjustment to the NAAA arbitration policy, Group 1 Automotive described what shape that dealer group finds itself in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Meanwhile, Texas Automobile Dealers Association president Bill Wolters reiterated the urgent need to help dealerships and their employees impacted by flooding.

And now, Hurricane Irma is churning through the Caribbean as one of the strongest storms ever observed by federal officials with the possibility of it striking Florida and other parts of the Southeast in the coming days.

NAAA on flood damage disclosure

According to a statement sent during Labor Day weekend, NAAA officials explained that currently, a flood damage disclosure (from sellers to buyers) was only required for vehicles selling under the following sale light combinations:

• Green light only

• Green/yellow light

• Yellow light only

For vehicles sold under the red light a disclosure was not required. But effective on Tuesday until further notice, NAAA indicated sellers will now be responsible for any/all flood damage disclosures to buyers when selling regardless of sale light, which includes the red light.

Officials also said the time period for flood damage via auction inspection is now extended from the “B & C” to “30 days from sale date.” They added the time period for flood damage via DMV and/or insurance company records will remain the same at “120 days.”

“The NAAA Standards Committee strongly urges all selling and buying clients to inspect the vehicles prior to the transaction to avoid arbitration issues,” officials said. “See NAAA.com’s reference page for flood damage inspection best practices.”

NADA Foundation still in need

While some dealers might be looking for inventory, of immediate concern in some portions of the Lone Star State centered on what was shared by Wolters, who implored the industry to give to the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“NADA created the Emergency Relief Fund to give immediate funds to these employees to help them bridge the gap until they can get their lives back together," said Wolters, who represents 1,300 franchised dealerships in Texas, in a news release. "We need those thousands of dealerships across the country to pull together to help these dealership employees get back on their feet. We really, really need everyone to step up and help us get through this.”

The National Automobile Dealers Association elaborated more about the situation in another video.

The NADA Foundation is calling on dealers, dealer association groups and others to donate online to its Emergency Relief Fund, which is dedicated exclusively to providing financial assistance to dealership employees.

Dealership employees who sustained personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding can apply for financial assistance.

Since 1992, the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund has provided more than $6 million to 9,200 dealership employees and their families across the country.

For more information, call (703) 821-7102.

Update from Group 1

Over at Group 1, leadership maintained that the company’s top priority is supporting its nearly 3,000 employees in the greater Houston and Beaumont areas of Texas.

Executives acknowledged that approximately 500 of their associates suffered significant property losses from flooding and storm damage. The company is assisting these employees by providing disaster pay and further financial support from the Group 1 Foundation.

Despite damage to some facilities and inventory due to record-breaking flooding in the region, Group 1 determined that preliminary assessments indicate all facilities are intact and fully operational. Group 1’s Houston stores reopened last Wednesday. The company’s Beaumont stores reopened on Thursday.

The dealer group said total damages associated with the storm are estimated at approximately $15 million. This amount includes insurance deductibles for damaged inventory and facilities, disaster pay for employees, and financial support for team members whose homes flooded.

“Our top priority is supporting our employees in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The size and scope of this disaster is almost beyond comprehension and the losses many of our employees and their family members have suffered is staggering. Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this devastating storm,” Group 1 president and chief executive officer Earl Hesterberg said in a news release.

“Beyond helping our employees, we are also moving quickly to get our stores fully online to support the community’s needs for replacement vehicles,” Hesterberg continued. “Through some extraordinary efforts by our team, we have all of our stores in both Houston and Beaumont open. And while we did sustain some inventory losses, given that we have over 15,000 units in stock in the impacted area, we are proud of the proactive efforts taken by our dealership teams that greatly protected our new and used inventory. Their actions preserved over 98 percent of our available inventory, which allows us to rapidly assist customers in need of replacement vehicles and service.

“The company’s third quarter results will be impacted by both the non-recurring costs highlighted above, as well the impact of the business disruption for an entire week across the Houston region, which represents Group 1’s largest revenue-generating market,” he went on to say.

Roaring Irma

As Texas tries to recover from Harvey, Florida already declared a state of emergency because of Irma, which on Tuesday afternoon was classified as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185mph.

Irma is approaching the strongest storm readings ever recorded by federal officials, which determined Hurricane Allen topped out at 190mph in 1980 as it swept through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico before colliding with south Texas.

With places like Puerto Rico already squarely in Irma’s path, officials in the Sunshine State mobilized its National Guard as all 7,000 Florida members will be reporting for duty on Friday morning. The state is also leveraging its connection to regional guard resources where another 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks and 100 helicopters could be made available, if needed, according to a news release issued by the office of Gov. Rick Scott.

“With Hurricane Irma now a Category 5 storm, we must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event,” Scott said. “We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.”

 

Editor's Note: Video in window above courtesy of NADA. 

OEMs, dealers, finance companies rally fundraising for Harvey recovery

CARY, N.C. - 

From automakers to state dealer associations to finance companies, the automotive industry is answering the urgent call for resources to help victims caught in the path of Hurricane Harvey.

One of the largest single commitments came from the collaboration of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Toyota Financial Services (TFS), The Friedkin Group, Gulf States Toyota (GST) and Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide. Those entities are set to provide a combined relief effort of more than $3 million to serve the people impacted by Harvey.

The group’s relief endeavors include funds to organizations such as the St. Bernard Project and American Red Cross, matching contributions, in-kind donations, volunteerism and the donation of pre-owned vehicles.

“As fellow Texans, our hearts go out to those who have lost so much, and we would like to extend a helping hand to help with the recovery,” Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America said. “At Toyota, we have a comprehensive approach to disaster relief, working with numerous organizations to provide help where it’s needed.”

Toyota Financial Services president and CEO Mike Groff added, “Access to reliable means of transportation is a critical element to any disaster relief and recovery effort. We hope that our donated vehicles will help meet the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

The Ford Motor Company Fund is contributing $100,000 to disaster relief efforts in Texas. In addition, Ford Fund is matching up to $50,000 in contributions to the American Red Cross, raising potential assistance from Ford to $200,000.

“On behalf of Ford Motor Company, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by this devastating storm,” company officials said. “We know for certain that many dealers in the area have sustained significant damage. We are gathering information from local authorities and dealers so we can offer our assistance in the most effective way possible.”

The Volkswagen Group of America Foundation announced that it has donated $150,000 to the American Red Cross. 

"With this donation, VWGoA is helping the American Red Cross provide some relief to those who have been affected by this devastating storm,” said David Geanacopoulos, senior executive vice president for public affairs and public policy at Volkswagen Group of America.

“We extend our thoughts and concern to all of those affected, including our employees, dealers and their families living and working in the impacted areas. We remain in constant contact with our teams in the area and will continue to support them as they work to rebuild their communities,” Geanacopoulos continued.

Video from NADA

The National Automobile Dealers Association launched a video highlighting the need for local dealers across the country to contribute the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund to support dealership families impacted by the destructive hurricane and flooding in southeastern Texas.

“Donating to the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund is an effective way to provide financial assistance quickly to dealership families affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Annette Sykora, chairman of the NADA Foundation. “Local dealerships nationwide are like a big extended family. When one of us hurts, we always come together to help.”

Dealership employees affected by the flooding can apply for financial assistance. (Lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement from the fund.)

The NADA Foundation is also calling on dealers, dealer association groups and others to donate online to its Emergency Relief Fund, which is dedicated exclusively to providing financial assistance to dealership employees.

Independent dealer efforts

Continuing an effort started by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, Georgia Independent Automobile Dealers Association CEO Paul John has called on all state associations to step up and support the independent dealers affected by Harvey.

The challenge comes after the GIADA pledged $5000 to the NIADA Foundation's Hurricane Harvey relief effort where 100 percent of all contributions will be given to those needing relief.

“Georgia is committed to helping our fellow independent car dealers in south Texas recover from this unfortunate, serious event,” John said.

“GIADA encourages and challenges all state independent dealer associations to donate whatever they can afford to give,” he continued. “And more importantly, they can help by reaching out to their state auto dealers and members for their immediate assistance. Timing is key, and they need our help.”

Veros Credit assistance & fundraising plans

Subprime auto finance company Veros Credit announced immediate plans to provide payment assistance to its customers who have been impacted by Harvey.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this catastrophic event. Their safety and wellbeing is our immediate concern,” Veros Credit CEO Cyrus Bozorgi said. “We are committed to working with our customers whose lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Harvey to provide payment assistance and relief options.”

Customers who would like to discuss the options available to them should contact Veros Credit online or call customer service at (888) 891-8807.

Veros Credit also announced a Workplace Giving Campaign in partnership with the American Red Cross.

“This is the time for people to come together to support one another. The American Red Cross is one of the largest and most reputable nonprofit organizations and it made perfect sense for Veros Credit to partner with them for our Workplace Giving Campaign which will help with immediate needs like food and shelter as well as put people on the road to reclaiming their lives,” Bozorgi said.

Autotrader to raise funds for vet nonprofit in September

ATLANTA - 

Autotrader announced that for every red, white or blue vehicle that is saved on its website from Labor Day through Sept. 30, it will donate $1 to The Mission Continues organization in support of veterans.

Autotrader said it will gift up to a total of $25,000 to the organization, which helps U.S. military veterans to find purpose at home through community impact.

"With this latest effort in our greater 'Search With a Purpose' cause platform, the keys are in the car shoppers' hands to make a difference with a simple click," Autotrader vice president of marketing Jessica Stafford said in a news release.

"We're honored to partner with The Mission Continues to help fuel their purpose and provide support for the veteran communities they serve."

On Autotrader.com, shoppers can click "save" on any red, white, or blue vehicle to participate and help give back to The Mission Continues

"We're thrilled to partner with Autotrader, a brand who believes in our veterans continued service in their communities here at home and who encourages employees and customers to join us in our efforts," said Meredith Darche, director of development for The Mission Continues. "This partnership will help our veterans build camaraderie and give back in their own communities."

Additionally, registering through the site’s personalized shopping feature "My Autotrader" both ensures the donation and guarantees car shoppers they will receive emails or text alerts concerning important details such as price drops or any new incentives made available.

Harvey numbers: 49 inches of rain, 366K new models potentially impacted

CARY, N.C. - 

With now Tropical Storm Harvey taking at aim at Louisiana and other locations inland after dumping 49 inches of rain near Houston, experts from Cox Automotive and Edmunds are looking to project how much this natural disaster is going to impact vehicle sales.

Meanwhile, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association is organizing a fundraising effort to help people impacted.

Perhaps Edmunds executive director of industry analysis Jessica Caldwell summed up the entire situation when she stated, “Harvey is an unprecedented storm and it’s going to take time to fully comprehend exactly how much it will impact the automakers.

“Texas is the second largest auto market in the U.S. so an event of this magnitude is going to make a dent in sales,” Caldwell continued. “Edmunds estimates 2 percent fewer vehicles will be sold in August due to Harvey, with declines likely continuing into early September.

“In subsequent months we’ll likely see a slight localized bump in sales as the recovery takes hold and people are able to buy replacement vehicles,” she added.

Edmunds estimated there are approximately 366,000 new vehicles on dealer lots in Texas that could be affected by Harvey. Caldwell pointed out many of these vehicles are high-profit trucks and SUVs, “so the automakers will feel a slight pinch, at least in the immediate term.”

Edmunds projected there are between 150,000 and 200,000 units of new inventory that could be affected in the areas hardest hit by Harvey in the Texas cities of Austin, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio.

Edmunds added that Texas makes up 9 percent of U.S. retail sales and is the No. 1 truck market, accounting for 14 percent of all full-size truck sales so far this year.

To put that metric into perspective, analysts tabulated one out of every five vehicles sold in Texas so far in 2017 was a full-size truck.

Texas is the top sales market for Ford, RAM, GMC, Cadillac and Mitsubishi, according to Edmunds’ data.

Over at Cox Automotive, chief economist Jonathan Smoke uncovered information throughout the company’s portfolio of service providers, including Autotrader, Dealer.com, Dealertrack, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, NextGear Capital, vAuto and Xtime.  As a result, Smoke indicated Cox Automotive revised its August new-model forecast of 16.6 SAAR to 16.3, based on the hurricane and its aftermath delaying the turns of 20,000 to 40,000 new vehicles.

“However, September will likely get a mild boost from delayed purchases and the beginning of the market’s recovery, driven by the need to replace damaged vehicles,” Smoke said. “That process will likely last months, pushing higher sales in the region in 4Q. We are looking at impact to full-year SAAR. Initial estimates indicate a potential net improvement on full-year sales once replacement sales pick up in earnest.”

Federal officials said on Tuesday that they obtained a reading of 49.32 inches of rain being recorded at a location southeast of Houston. Officials said Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches through Friday over parts of the upper Texas coast into southwestern Louisiana as the storm is projected to move further inland into Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia this weekend.

“A Texas-sized storm requires a Texas-sized response, and that is exactly what the state will provide,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. “While we have suffered a great deal, the resiliency and bravery of Texan’s spirits is something that can never be broken. As communities are coming together in the aftermath of this storm, I will do everything in my power to make sure they have what they need to rebuild.”

And NIADA is looking to help with the rebuilding effort.

The NIADA Foundation has established an emergency relief fund to provide a venue for members of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association to assist fellow dealers and others in the automotive community devastated by the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Steve Jordan, CEO of NIADA and president of the NIADA Foundation Board of Trustees, said 100 percent of all contributions received will be donated to provide relief from the effects of flooding, help repair property damage and assist with other disaster-related needs attributable to the catastrophic weather event that struck Houston and other areas along the Texas coast.

Jordan said the foundation's goal is to raise $100,000 for the fund.

Donations will be made in collaboration with the Texas IADA – NIADA’s state affiliate – and will be considered on a case-by-case basis as identified through the collaborative disbursement relationship.

“We are committed to helping our friends and colleagues in the automotive industry get through this trying time,” Jordan said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected or displaced by this massive storm.”

The NIADA Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as the focal point of NIADA’s charitable efforts and coordinates the association’s charitable giving. Individuals can contribute by going to this page.

While region residents still are dealing with the storm, Smoke uncovered that they aren’t necessarily shopping for or taking delivery of vehicles.  

Since the storm came ashore this past weekend, Smoke noticed Dealer.com websites in the market have seen an almost 40-percent drop in vehicle shopping research compared to the previous weekends in August.

“This is a significant number as Dealer.com powers over 60 percent of dealer websites,” Smoke said.

Smoke noticed an even steeper drop in Dealertrack business within where Harvey dumped rain.

“Our Dealertrack credit application system has experienced a roughly 80-percent drop in activity in the affected area. Since most cars are financed, that’s an 80-percent drop in business since the storm came ashore Friday,” said Smoke, who also pointed out that 80 percent of U.S. franchised dealers use Dealertrack to submit credit applications electronically to finance companies.

Auctions & dealers scramble as Harvey soaks Texas

ATLANTA and SUGAR LAND, Texas - 

As torrential rain from Hurricane Harvey keeps falling, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Cox Automotive are taking actions in an effort to support member dealerships as well as Manheim facilities and personnel in the region.

While dealers like Wyatt Wainwright had to flee rising waters, officials from Manheim are modifying activities near Houston, emphasizing that safety of employees is paramount.

“In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the entire Manheim Texas team is focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of our team members,” said Nick Boris, regional vice president for Manheim Central, in details obtained by Auto Remarketing on Monday afternoon.

“We have thankfully confirmed that the more than half of our Texas employees are accounted for, and we are continuing to diligently reach out to additional staff,” Boris continued. “Manheim’s corporate human resources team based in Atlanta is leading the effort to share relief resources and information with those affected by the storm, record-breaking flooding and loss of utilities.

“In addition, they are coordinating access for Manheim team members to the Cox Employee Relief Fund (available through Manheim’s parent company Cox Enterprises) which provides immediate financial assistance for unexpected needs resulting from a disaster,” Boris went on to say.

Below is an update from Manheim’s business operations at some of its sites in Texas:

• Converted Tuesday morning physical sale at Manheim Houston to a digital sale

• Converted Thursday physical sale at Manheim Texas Hobby to a digital sale

• Proceeding with Wednesday sale at Manheim San Antonio

• Still assessing operations at Manheim South Houston

• Manheim Dallas, Manheim Dallas-Fort Worth, Manheim El Paso and Manheim West Texas are not impacted at this time.

“We are proactively communicating with clients about the status of our operations and inventory, as well as their assets,” Boris said. “Currently, affected sites are offering digital sales to support our clients’ used-vehicle buying and selling needs, and we will keep them informed about future in-lane sales.” 

Undoubtedly dealers like Wainwright would like to get back to inventory acquisition. He is experiencing just how devastating the impacts this hurricane is leaving.

Wainwright is a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, about 20 miles southwest of Houston, as well as president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association, which represents 175 dealerships. He learned in the middle of the night about orders to evacuate his home.

“We are struggling with the evacuation right now,” Wainwright said in a press release shared by NADA on Monday.

“There are large scale mandatory and voluntary evacuations going on right now. We don’t know where we can go to escape. I don’t know how I could drive three miles right now without getting blocked,” he added.

The NADA Foundation has mobilized its Emergency Relief Fund to assist dealership employees who have been impacted by personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding.

“There’s still 20 to 30 inches of rain that still has to pass through. We are not even near to the peak flooding yet,” Wainwright added. “A big issue we haven’t faced yet are rivers and streams that have yet to overflow. There is so much more of this to go which is the problem.” 

Dealership employees affected by the flooding can apply for financial assistance. (Lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement from the fund.)

The NADA Foundation is also calling on dealers and dealer association groups to donate online to its Emergency Relief Fund. Checks can be made payable to Emergency Relief Fund and sent to:

NADA Foundation
8400 Westpark Drive
MS 7
Tysons, Va. 22102.

For more information, call (703) 821-7102.

Cox Automotive is also committed to helping the American Red Cross with disaster relief efforts. 

In addition to the company’s corporate partnership, charitable banner ad campaigns are running on Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim.com.  Red Cross ads click directly to the Cox Automotive partnership donation site at https://www.redcross.org/coxauto-emp.

State and federal officials continue to deploy all resources available to help Texas residents impacted by this storm.

On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he has activated the entire Texas National Guard in response to Hurricane Harvey, bringing the total number of deployed guardsman to roughly 12,000. These National Guardsman will assist in the ongoing search and rescue effort for any Texans in immediate danger, and will be heavily involved in the extensive recovery effort in the aftermath of the storm.

“It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm,” Abbott said. “The Texas National Guard is working closely with FEMA and federal troops to respond urgently to the growing needs of Texans who have fallen victim to Hurricane Harvey, and the activation of the entire guard will assist in the efforts already underway. I would like to thank FEMA Administrator Brock Long, as well as all our brave first responders for their hard work in helping those impacted by this terrible storm.”

FEMA Administrator Brock Long added, “While this is still a dangerous situation with a long response effort ahead, the state and people of Texas are resilient. FEMA was here before the storm hit, and we will be here as long as needed, actively coordinating the full resources of the federal government, to support Gov. Abbott and the state.”

ADESA Kansas City raises over $50K for children’s hospital

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced Thursday that its Kansas City auction recently raised a total of $50,457 for a local children’s hospital.

The auction held a special sale and live charity auction event named  “Cars-n-Kids” for Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

In addition to donating $150 for every car sold during the sale, ADESA Kansas City sold event T-shirts, hosted a shrimp boil dinner, and auctioned items such as end zone pylons autographed by Kansas City Chiefs players.

“As a not-for-profit children’s hospital, Children’s Mercy is so appreciative of community partners like ADESA Kansas City, who do more to make a difference for our patients and families,” Megan Stock, assistant director of philanthropic community engagement and events, said in a news release. “We are grateful to everyone involved with the Cars-n-Kids charity car auction for making it such a successful fundraiser.”

ADESA said auction general manager Kevin Rhoads and his team chose to help Children’s Mercy this year because the hospital has helped several auction employees and their families.

“When we were choosing a charity to sponsor, Children’s Mercy immediately came to mind,” Rhoads said. “The event was a huge success, with dealers raving about the shrimp boil and the charity auction. But the best part is we raised over $50,000 for Children’s Mercy.”

Florida Fine Cars organizing efforts to help St. Jude

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - 

Florida Fine Cars — among the top 100 independent dealers highlighted earlier this summer in Auto Remarketing — announced on Monday that the dealership will support two upcoming walk/run fundraisers to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in an effort to help doctors find a cure for childhood cancers.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based children’s hospital has organized simultaneous fundraising events in Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla., on Sept. 23. Florida Fine Cars is sponsoring a hydration station in Miami and providing a meet-up tent in West Palm Beach.

“Everyone knows someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer. But when it’s a child, it’s even harder to accept,” Florida Fine Cars marketing director Jamie Suid said. “St. Jude is a frontrunner in cancer research and saving lives. Our dealership wants to be a part of that.”

 According to St. Jude marketing director Rebecca Torres, it costs $2.2 million a day to run the hospital, 75 percent of which comes from donors.

“Every donation, no matter how big or small, helps St. Jude tremendously,” said Torres, who met with Florida Fine Cars employees in early July to discuss the hospital’s mission, explain its funding needs and solicit support for its mission.

“It’s a great cause. Who wouldn’t want to help find a cure for kids with cancer? If Florida Fine Cars can contribute in some small way, count us in,” Suid said.

Money raised at the upcoming St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer in Dade and Palm Beach County will go back to the hospital to help further its mission: Finding cures and saving children.

“Donations allow us to ensure that no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. We really want to make sure that parents can focus on helping their child get healthy,” Torres said.

St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent in 1962 when it first opened to 80 percent today. Doctors at St. Jude treat everything from brain tumors, leukemia and lymphoma as well as infectious diseases to immunodeficiency diseases, blood disorders, sickle cell disease and solid tumors.

St. Jude makes it easy for families to pick up their lives and move to Memphis to receive the best treatment in the world. Consistent with the vision of founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.

To join Florida Fine Cars in an effort to support St. Jude through this fundraising event in south Florida, go to this website.

NAAA names chapter auctions of year in Midwest & South

FREDERICK, Md. - 

The National Auto Auction Association recently announced that Clark County Auto Auction and Charleston Auto Auction have both been named Auto Auction of the Year within their respective chapters, following nominations from local school leaders.

The award was established last year to honor the charitable acts auctions perform each year and to encourage volunteer outreach. The two auctions will join other chapter finalists competing to win NAAA's 2017 Auto Auction of the Year Award for Excellence in Community Service.

In November, each finalist will be recognized at the NAAA Convention — which is being held in partnership with the National Remarketing Conference — with a crystal trophy and a $5,000 prize for a charity of the auction's choice.

The winner receives a large crystal loving cup, a feature story in both NAAA's On The Block magazine and annual Membership Directory, as well as a $20,000 donation to the charity of the auction's choice.

Midwest chapter auction donates $2M real estate

Greater Clark County Schools nominated Clark County Auto Auction, NAAA Midwest Chapter Auto Auction of the Year, following a recent contribution of its property worth more than $2 million.

The auction donated its former 5-acre site and 14,000-square-foot facility to the school system.

The school system named its Mark Fetter Center for Professional Learning after Clark County Auto Auctions late co-founder. Currently, the center has space for training 750 teachers.

"It's with pride that I announce Clark County Auto Auction as the Midwest Chapter's choice for Auto Auction of the Year during our celebration of National Auto Auction Week because they embody the long tradition of our membership's benevolent work and public service," NAAA Midwest chapter president Kristie Goben said in a news release.

Since 1982, the auction has raised more than $2.5 million in support of nonprofit projects, according to NAAA. 

"The compassionate employees who make up Clark County Auto Auction are deeply devoted and enthusiastic to volunteer and make a positive impact in their community each and every day," said Matt Fetter, Clark County Auto Auction president. "From the time we opened our doors, striving to make the world a better place has become our staple, our mission and a large portion of our company DNA."

Southern chapter auction supports homeless teens

Meanwhile, Charleston Auto Auction has been named the NAAA’s 2017 Southern Chapter Auto Auction of the Year following a nomination from the Charleston County School District.

NAAA said the school district nominated the auction for its efforts to help support 21 homeless students at R.B. Stall High School.

"As we celebrate National Auto Auction Week I'm proud to announce Charleston Auto Auction as our candidate for NAAA's Auto Auction of the Year," NAAA Southern chapter president Doug Rodriguez said. "All our entrants deserve recognition for their public service, but none touched us more than Charleston Auto Auction. Their dedication to helping homeless teens, who were couch surfing or sleeping on benches at the mall and had no idea where their next meal would come from, have a safe place to live so they could focus on school was heartwarming."

After seeing a news story on TV about Project H.O.M.E., a proposed project to house several homeless high schoolers with surrogate parents who would provide stability and consistency, Charleston Auto Auction assistant general manager Jason Moritz wanted to help, according to NAAA.

In support of Project H.O.M.E, the auction organized a special month-long sale where it partnered with its dealers to donate a percentage of any vehicle bought or sold to raise money for the construction of a house.

Following the sale, additional fundraising efforts on behalf of the auction garnered more than $26,000 for the project.

Project H.O.M.E now has a goal to begin housing students this fall, according to NAAA.

"They continue to be a driving force behind this project," Project H.O.M.E creator and Charleston County School District secondary education community executive director Kim Wilson. "They've taken an active role in making this home their mission with the auction's General Manager Laura Taylor and Jason joining our board of directors. They also speak to businesses and groups in the community to encourage involvement. It's people like the management and employees at Charleston Auto Auction who see a need and take action that make a difference in this world."

NAAA said other causes the auction supports includes a local food bank, an orphan group, animal shelter and camp program for ill children.