RICHMOND, VA — The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has kicked off its “Leave Something Behind” program, which will offer free cancer screenings to the public. The campaign, designed to complement NABC’s other ongoing charitable efforts, is slated to coincide with at least two Collision Industry Conference (CIC) sessions per year.
NABC Treasurer Karen Fierst explains the “Leave Something Behind” concept: “Our board meetings typically coincide with the CIC, which means several times per year a solid representation of the collision industry is in one city for several days. The board felt we could use that as an opportunity to leave something behind in that particular locality that exemplifies the caring spirit of our industry.”
The “Leave Something Behind” program will take place twice this year, first at the upcoming CIC in Atlanta, GA, on April 11 and 12, and then in Las Vegas during NACE. The focus in Atlanta will be the Northside Hospital, a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. The facility is less than two miles away from the official CIC hotel, the Crowne Plaza. Besides being a leader in the battle against the prostate cancer, Northside Hospital makes available to the public free prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests for those otherwise unable to afford them. The money NABC raises will help offset the cost of these free screenings, which are critical in the timely diagnosis of the disease.
“We choose different causes to support and typically try to identify one with which someone from our board can identify,” said Dan Risley, who chairs the “Leave Something Behind” sub-committee. “It’s that sense of giving that propels the program. As committee chair, I’ve been fortunate to be involved over the past few years with giving a check to a local children’s hospital, contributing cell phones to battered wives and providing books to schools for their libraries. Nothing makes me more proud to be a part of our industry than when we make these kinds of donations.
“This kind of cancer can be very aggressive — I’ve recently witnessed that with my father-in-law,” said Risley, “but there is a high rate of treatment success with early detection. While the donation NABC sponsors on behalf of Northside Hospital will have a beneficial economic impact, we also hope that by spotlighting the issue we can help educate the men in our industry regarding the preventative measures available to them. Maybe we’ll even save a few lives.”
Donations to the free screening program will be collected during the course of CIC after a short presentation. Though the mechanism for fund-raising is being finalized at the time of this writing, participants will likely be asked to guess the quantity of an item in a jar (for example, candy), with chances being sold for $5 apiece or 3 for $10. The two individuals who come closest to guessing the correct amount will win $100 and $75 respectively, with the balance of the money going to Northside Hospital.
“Part of our job is to find projects that foster the good works performed by the men and women of the collision industry, and the ‘Leave Something Behind’ program is a worthy portion of NABC’s portfolio,” says NABC Executive Director Chuck Sulkala. “It’s a grass roots approach, which means we can have a direct impact on those communities gracious enough to host us. It’s a meaningful way to bond with those localities.”
Though this installment of the “Leave Something Behind” program is being marketed exclusively to those who attend CIC in Atlanta, those not attending that are interested in contributing can contact NABC by phone or e-mail.