On Dec. 1, the Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) hosted a Sponsors Appreciation event at the Providence Plantation Ranch just outside of Houston, TX.
According to HABA President John Kopriva, “Our main purpose was to let our sponsors know that we appreciate their continuing support. Without each one, we could not have accomplished the growth and changes that we made during 2018.
“We had a great time, and everyone enjoyed the event. The event was well-attended, including spouses. This was a great opportunity to mix, mingle, relax and enjoy the outdoors.”
A delicious meal was prepared by one of HABA’s directors, David Kopriva, who was the “Pit Master” for the day. Food preparations began the night before, with BBQ brisket, ribs, chicken and links. The Pit Master cooked sides that included baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, coleslaw and more.
John gave a brief history of the ranch, which comprised 6,000 acres and originated in the early 1800s.
He shared, “The ranch was a sugar cane and cotton plantation, and the original plantation mansion was only taken down within the last year. Once cotton and sugar cane were harvested, they were transported utilizing the Brazos River, which adjoins the plantation.
“History records that it was not unusual for the plantation to be frequently raided by marauding Indians. Today, the ranch is tranquil with towering 100-year-old oak trees and supports an abundance of white tail deer, wild hogs, quail and dove. Upon entering the ranch and driving towards the pavilion, everyone noticed two opposing 40-foot silos built and painted (one yellow, one green) to resemble two Remington shotgun shells. It turns out that these two structures are skeet towers that are two of eight competition skeet ranges.”
One of the day’s highlights was a friendly competition between some of HABA’s directors and sponsors that brought their shotguns to the skeet and trap ranges. Guests were treated to some professional and accurate shooting.
“Ronnie Brush of Westside Lexus challenged Mike Fatter of Enterprise Rent-A-Car to skeet shooting, which was a fun challenge to watch,” John recalled. “A lot of the guys were amazed by how close the ranch is to Houston---less than 30 minutes away. Several noted that they have to travel six hours or more to south Texas to find trophy deer that are frequently spotted grazing onsite near the ranch pavilion.”
In a short business update, Larry Cernosek, legislative coordinator for HABA, shared an update regarding the upcoming 2019 Collision Day scheduled for Feb.12 in Austin, TX, at the State Capitol. This will be a joint effort with the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT). The purpose of the trip to the Capitol is to put repairers and other industry representatives in direct contact with state leaders.
John noted, “The Texas collision repair industry is ready to stand up as a collective force for change, emphasizing ‘Safety and Enforcement of the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights.’"
John wrapped up a fantastic day to explicitly thank an enthusiastic group of sponsors.
“We have 26 devoted sponsors who each stand up for HABA to make these events and training meetings possible. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support,” he said.
For more information about the Houston Auto Body Association, visit habaonline.org.