“The BBQ went really well,” according to Molly Brodeur, President of the Midstate Chapter and Vice President of AASP-MA Statewide. “The event has evolved a bit over the past few years as we’ve made it less of a party event and more family-friendly so that it’s a fun evening for everyone.”
Over 160 individuals attended the BBQ for an evening of networking and the chance at a wide variety of raffle prizes ranging from shop-related gifts to spa days and weekend getaways. All children in attendance received free raffle tickets for chances at the children’s prizes, and the youth also enjoyed meeting and learning about rescue animals during a presentation by Animal Adventures.
The Midstate Chapter of AASP-MA raised $5000 which will fund their Tool Grant for local vo-tech students pursuing a career in the collision repair industry. Beginning mid-winter, local schools will be able to apply for the grant, and the association will award the funds to a local school whose teachers will decide the best ways to use the funds for their collision repair program.
Brodeur believes the association’s efforts are important because of their “focus on training the youth that will hopefully matriculate into our industry. The increasing age of technicians makes it important to develop a connection with these students so they feel connected to the industry and see there’s an opportunity for a viable career because we are in desperate need of young technicians.
Another benefit of the BBQ and similar social events is that it provides a forum for collision repair industry professionals to enjoy a fun night out, away from the shop, to network and socialize with their peers. This sort of collaboration is also an imperative component of the benefits that industry associations offer their members. Brodeur was very pleased with the amount of participation the event generated and with how the BBQ has changed over the past several years. She is also grateful to the many sponsors who contributed to making the event so successful.
“We enjoy a tremendous amount of vendor support; the event wouldn’t work without our wonderful sponsors.”
Raffle donors included Imperial Cars, Bernardi, J & R Auto Body Supply, Wellesley Volkswagen, Linders Auto Parts, Boston Bumper, Sherwin Williams, Hertz, NAPA Hudson, NAPA Marlborough, BASF, Don Kennett Paint Supply, and the Worcester Sharks, while CPRAX Marketing and Relco Products contributed as Direct Grant Donors. The venue was sponsored by Long Automotive, with dinner and dessert being sponsored by Bald Hill, Long Automotive and Balise. Imperial Cars sponsored the children’s meal, Marlborough Nissan sponsored children’s entertainment, and the children’s raffle was sponsored by FinishMaster. Wagner Motors donated to the live auction, and AASP-MA’s Western Chapter was the general raffle sponsor.