Wednesday, 21 January 2015 16:00

ASA-Midwest Celebrates Giving Back at 2014 Holiday Parties

Throughout the month of December, four chapters of ASA-Midwest held holiday parties, but celebrating the season wasn’t their only goal; association members embraced the holiday spirit by giving back to their communities. In fact, each chapter’s party doubled as a charitable function where they showed their support by donating everything from food to money and even a vehicle!

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The Kansas City Chapter held the first holiday party of 2014 on December 9 in the private Bubble Down Lounge at Louie’s Wine Dive, but in addition to celebrating the holidays, chapter members used the event to surprise one chosen family with a fully-refurbished 2005 PT Cruiser.

The presentation of the vehicles was “the culmination of a month-long drive to raise funds for the acquisition and refurbishment of a car to be given to a family in need as a part of our ASA-Midwest Gives Back Campaign,” Sheri Hamilton, Executive Director of ASA-Midwest, explains.

With over 30 people in attendance, the event was deemed a success. Hamilton says, “it was a lovely gathering for members to celebrate the holidays with their friends and peers while enjoying a few cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. It was also a great chance for everyone to meet and get to know the recipient of the Holiday Car. It was a fitting way to ring in the new year and give back to our community. The family was very grateful for the gift, and we were thrilled to be able to make a small difference during the Holiday season.”

On December 11, the Des Moines Chapter held their second annual holiday party at Dos Rios Cantina to give industry professionals a chance to gather in celebration of the holidays as well as to encourage participation in the association’s Give Back Campaign. Over 30 members and allied members enjoyed an evening of networking while snacking on a tasty taco bar and freshly made taquitos. The chapter also collected and donated several boxes of food to DMARC’s Move the Food Campaign.

The Central Missouri Chapter of ASA-Midwest celebrated the holidays on December 16 at Lonestar Steakhouse where members socialized, indulged in delicious meals, and collected donations for the Rainbow House Network, an organization in Columbia MO that provides emergency shelter and support to children in need as well as assistance to families in crisis and at-risk youth in the community.

Hamilton shares, “the chapter had a great turnout and response from members. We were able to donate many items from the list of needs with Rainbow House as well as a cash donation, courtesy of our partner CARQUEST Auto Parts. Representatives Darryl Schafer and Kevin Leiby dropped the chapter’s donations off at the Rainbox House and were able to meet the director of the organization as well.”

The Springfield Chapter chose to support The Rare Breed Outreach Organization whose mission is preventing and ending homelessness in their local youth community by providing houses and stabilizing services with dignity and compassion. Hamilton states, “ASA-Midwest believes strongly in giving back to the communities where we live and being an active part of their improvement. We believe that by giving back to the community as an organization and an industry, we can strengthen not only the future of our shops but also the communities that we serve. The Springfield Chapter sent four representatives to Rare Breed to present a $1000 donation on behalf of ASA-Midwest. The donation was very well-received, and we believe it will go a long way in assisting Rare Breed in serving those in need.”

ASA-Midwest’s holiday parties, like their other events, are important for allowing members to network with their peers. Hamilton elaborates, “we believe that it is important to bring the automotive service industry together in service to the community, both to strengthen the future of the industry and to provide an opportunity to network, share ideas, and participate in improving the local communities we live in. [Our events] provide a much-needed venue for our members to meet, discuss ideas, and solve problems, but we also believe that, through the relationships formed at these events, the community as a whole is strengthened. Together, we are not only able to give back to the community but also to receive high-quality training that wouldn’t be available to individuals on their own.”