Local Veterans Gifted NABC Recycled Rides at Pocono Raceway Over NASCAR Race Weekend


On July 23, two deserving Pennsylvania veterans experienced a life-changing event at the HighPoint.com 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway---the presentation of two vehicles to provide them independence and the ability to work and take care of their families---thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides® program, along with car donors Nationwide and Allstate and repair partner Faulkner Collision Center.

The presentation was held at the Pocono Raceway as part of the NASCAR race weekend, July 22-23. The NABC also had a display in the Pocono Raceway Veterans Village during the race weekend. This event marked the second NASCAR race presentation for the NABC Recycled Rides program, following the presentation of four NABC Recycled Rides vehicles during the NASCAR race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“What a tremendous weekend celebrating our military members and recognizing two veterans with the gift of reliable transportation,” said Debby Robinson, executive director of the NABC. “We greatly appreciate the support of Pocono Raceway and their military affairs program, along with our partners Allstate, Nationwide and Faulkner Collision Centers for making this possible. This is a great example of our NABC members in action---April Lausch, collision center manager for Faulkner Collision, is a long-time Pocono Raceway attendee and had the idea to host a gifting at the track after hearing about our previous NASCAR activities. With that, we went into action and coordinated the program with our great insurance partners at Allstate and Nationwide, and worked with the track and their charity Valor Clinic Foundation to bring it to fruition.”

The two deserving recipients were selected by Valor Clinic Foundation through the Pocono Raceway Military Affairs Department.

Erin is a U.S. Navy veteran who served from 1999 to 2003 on the USS Enterprise and base security at Norfolk Naval Station. She is a single mother with an infant. Erin was born in central Pennsylvania into a family that attended races, camping in the center of Pocono raceway every summer right up until she left for the Navy. She and her friends enjoyed the excitement of NASCAR racing.  

In 1999, she joined the Navy, and after basic training, was assigned to the USS Enterprise as an aircraft fueler. She takes pride in the fact that she was one of the first women to be assigned to the ship. During 9/11, she served as base security for Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia on combat alert status and trained activated Navy Reserve personnel in base security procedures. Upon honorable discharge from the service, she attended college while working and taking care of her daughter as a single parent. She loves NASCAR and and roots for Corey LaJoie.  

Juan was a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant who served 14 years and received the Navy Commendation Medal. Juan, or JJ as people call him, was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in the Bronx, where he graduated from high school before enlisting in the Marine Corps. He proudly served 14 years between active duty and reserve, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, where he received numerous commendations.  

He has one son, and currently resides in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania. He has held numerous jobs, but due to health issues he is currently unemployed. He admires the endurance and talents of the best drivers on the planet, and has always admired Mario Andretti and roots for Aric Almirola in the No. 10 car.

“From nomination to receipt, the entire experience has been moving,” said Erin. “To be nominated by an organization that is pivotal in moving mountains to change veterans’ lives, to working with the representatives from NABC and contributing partners, every encounter and experience has been moving. All to give the gift of wheels to me so I can move again.”

“This is an amazing day,” said JJ. “It’s such an honor to be selected for this. It’s really an incredible experience. This will really help me take care of daily life and spend time with my family.”

NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the NABC have donated more than 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million.

“At Nationwide, we strongly believe in protecting people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care,” said Scott Dunfee, associate vice president, Personal Lines, MD Technical Claims for Nationwide. “It is our honor to contribute to this wonderful cause and to help a deserving veteran.”

Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation include Advanced Remarketing Services, Cars for Charity, Faulkner Hyundai, Faulkner Chevy, NAPA, LKQ, Keystone, H&F Tire, Patriot Towing, Fred Beans Automotive Group, Copart and S&C Recon & Auto.

Source: NABC

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