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Harbor Freight Tools Foundation Donates $100,000 to SEMA Student and Charity Initiatives

By Mike Imlay

Nationwide tool and equipment retailer Harbor Freight Tools has announced a donation of $100,000 to SEMA Cares and the SEMA Scholarship Fund. The donation is intended to support SEMA’s outreach to youth in need on a variety of levels.

“SEMA wishes to thank the Harbor Freight Tools Foundation LLC for their incredible generosity,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “This is a unique and significant gift that will benefit the many young people served by our association’s charity and scholarship programs. We greatly appreciate the support to the association and the industry that this donation represents.”

Harbor Freight Tools, a national tool store chain owned and led by Eric Smidt, has more than 1,200 locations across the United States. Through The Smidt Foundation, Smidt launched the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which awards more than $1 million annually to 18 outstanding U.S. public high school skilled trades teachers and their programs. The prize is just one part of a broader aim to increase understanding, support and investment in skilled trades education in U.S. public high schools.

“We are thrilled to support the important work of SEMA Cares,” said Smidt. “The SEMA Scholarship Fund provides much needed support for the education journey of young people working in the automotive industry. We especially applaud the ways these scholarships help recognize and nurture talent and open doors of opportunity.”

Established in 2007, SEMA Cares seeks to mobilize the aftermarket to improve the lives of children in need by supporting such charities as the Austin Hatcher Foundation for pediatric cancer, Childhelp for the prevention and treatment of child abuse, and the Victory Junction camp for children with serious medical conditions and illnesses. In addition, the SEMA Scholarship Fund and Loan Forgiveness programs offer students from all academic and technical disciplines within the automotive industry help with college tuition and student loans.