On June 8, the Greater Philadelphia-area I-CAR committee held its second annual fundraiser at the Scotland Run Golf Club, in Williamstown, New Jersey, to benefit the Collision Repair Education Foundation and local collision repair school programs. More than 160 people participated in the golf tournament, evening banquet and silent auction. More than $46,000 was raised to support the foundation and local education initiatives to improve the availability of trained, entry-level technicians in the market.
“I would like to thank all the participants and sponsors for helping to expand the possibilities for many young people in the Philadelphia area,” said Lisa Ferguson, Northeast regional operations for ABRA Auto Body & Glass and chair of the Greater Philadelphia-area I-CAR committee. “Our goal is to change the working environment at the shops by investing in education, having better learning conditions, mentoring programs and the proper tooling to learn their craft.”
Sponsors of the event included: PPG, Platinum Sponsor of the Event; 3D Bodyworks; ABRA Auto Body & Glass; Airright Technologies; Bergey’s Wholesale; Bill Flannery Automotive; Brandywine Coach Works; Caliber Collision; Conicelli Dealerships; Elite Electronics; Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Euromotorcars of Devon; Fred Beans Auto Group; Gerber Collision & Glass; Innovative Solutions & Technology; K & S Towing; LKQ Corp.; Matrix Electronics; Mercedes Benz of AC, FW & WCMike & Allison LeVasseur; Norton; Paul’s Towing; Service King Collision Repair Centers and Sherwin-Williams.
According to Ferguson, the bulk of this year’s funds will go to support the Hodgson Vo-Tech Auto Body program with smaller amounts going to other schools in Southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to equipment and curriculum support, the committee is starting a new initiative to pay for 10 students to graduate with their I-CAR points and be more attractive to prospective employees.
Last September, the committee raised more than $30,000 at its inaugural event, bring the total raised from the two events to more than $76,000.
Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, thanked the committee for its continued support of the local schools and challenged other local groups to work with schools in their markets to help improve the prospects for young people training for a career in the collision industry.
“The work of the Philadelphia I-CAR committee directly benefits young people studying for a career in the collision industry by improving the facilities, equipment and curriculum in their school programs,” said Plucinski. “The committee’s hard-work will benefit both the students and the industry, collision repairers, insurers and suppliers, that are in such desperate need of trained, entry-level employees. I urge other local groups to follow the committee’s example and launch an effort to assist collision schools in their local market.”