The National Auto Auction Association announced the first two of its four Chapter Auto Auction of the Year recipients this week; operations representing the Southern Chapter and the Midwest Chapter.
Receiving the accolade for the Southern Chapter was Louisiana’s 1st Choice Auto Auction, while collecting the recognition for the Midwest Chapter was Columbus Fair Auto Auction.
Charitable efforts from the staff at Louisiana’s 1st Choice Auto Auction have resulted in the raising of almost $700,000 during the past 10 years. Last year, staff members collected 30 pints of blood (which the auction says could save 90 lives) and made baked goods to sell at blood drives. Auction volunteers assemble gift shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The auction’s general manager donates his auctioneering services to charity events. Several of the auction’s staff members serve on the boards of local nonprofits.
That is just some of LFCAA’s charitable work that resulted in the auction being named the National Auto Auction Association’s 2019 Southern Chapter Auto Auction of the Year for outstanding public service. The Hammond, La., business was chosen for its various charitable efforts supporting large and small nonprofits in the community and abroad.
LFCCA is one of four finalists representing NAAA’s Eastern, Midwest, Southern and Western chapters competing for NAAA’s “Auto Auction of the Year Award for Excellence in Community Service.” Another finalist, for the Midwest chapter, is Columbus Fair Auto Auction.
Each of the contenders will receive a crystal trophy as recognition during the association’s October annual convention. Those contenders will also be spotlighted in NAAA’s member publications, and they will receive $5,000 payable to a charity of the auction’s choice.
To recognize the many charitable acts auctions perform and to encourage more volunteer involvement, NAAA established the annual awards in 2016. The “Auto Auction of the Year Award for Excellence in Community Service” winner receives a large crystal loving cup. The winner also appears on the cover and in a feature story in NAAA’s On The Block magazine and annual membership directory. In addition to the $5,000 prize as a chapter finalist, the winner also receives $20,000 payable to the auction’s chosen charity.
LFCCA’s efforts listed earlier are just a sampling of its charitable work toward following its motto, “Outstanding Service Begins With Outstanding People.” The auction’s staff and customers come up with an organization of cause to support, and they ask the auction to join them. Their various projects have raised funds for the Policeman’s Ball, Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation Chefs’ Evening, Louisiana SPCA Howling Success Gala, and the Hammond Northshore Regional Airshow.
Following an employee’s suggestion this year, LFCCA added Manger House Ministries to its list. The ministries provide education, clothing and food to more than 150 children who attend its monthly Bible camp in Montrouis, Haiti. The auction surpassed its goal of donating 500 flip-flops for barefoot kids, instead collecting 2,000 pairs and packing them in 55-gallon barrels. The group raised money for the shipping and donated yet more funds toward the small ministry’s programs. One coworker assisted in putting together activity and toiletry kits.
If all that isn’t enough, the LFCAA Annual Golf Tournament started about 10 years ago, with employees and customers supporting three local groups: Child Advocacy Services, the area's Cancer Center, and Options. The latter organization helps adults with disabilities live and work in the community.
Columbus Fair Auto Auction also performs various activities that helped it win the Midwest honor. CFAA’s efforts help youth with special needs and the auction also works toward promoting environmental stewardship in the community.
CFAA established CFAA Cares. That public outreach program partners with Columbus City Schools Special Olympics, Eastmoor Academy and the Ohio School for the Deaf. The program teaches life and work skills to students with learning, developmental and physical disabilities, helping them get and keep a job.
All proceeds from the kiosk rental inside the lanes on CFAA’s Wednesday sales go to the Special Olympics. That is a total of more than $2,000 a month, and auction employees also take time off from work to volunteer at the organization’s events. CFAA encourages staff members to serve as mentors and chaperones with the public-school system’s special education program. The staff members serve as role models, helping students in the area of social and professional development.
At a CFAA-hosted tailgate party, more than 50 deaf and blind students and their families gather for lunch, games, and prizes, and they receive tickets to the Ohio State University spring football game.
CFAA employees also work at an annual American Red Cross blood drive and a charity golf outing. In addition, a sale-day raffle this year for a retro tabletop game console raised funds toward the purchase of Christmas gifts for two families with children battling cancer.
CFAA also works toward environmental responsibility. The staff participates in the annual cleanup event around Earth Day in April, performing landscaping, trash pickup and recycling activities. The previously mentioned charity golf tournament is also an environmentally friendly zero-waste event.