Five Great Rides Benefit SEMA Cares

SEMA Member News
January/February 2012

Five Great Rides Benefit SEMA Cares

Five vehicles—each one representing a $1,500 donation to SEMA Cares—graced the TORA Booth at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.  
The Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (TORA) booth display in upper South Hall at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas included five outstanding trucks, each sponsored by an TORA-member company. Not only did the vehicles depict TORA-member company products in “real life” installations, but each also represented a $1,500 donation to SEMA Cares, for a total of $7,500.

“We had an outstanding collection of trucks this year,” said TORA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive. “Not only was each vehicle unique in its own way, but each also had a variety of readily apparent TORA-member products to show off. We often say—but can never say it enough—how dedicated and engaged our membership is in our council projects. And we thank SEMA and Convexx for giving us the floor space in which to showcase these vehicles.”

TORA and SEMA Cares extend a very special thanks to the following companies and individuals who went the extra mile to have their vehicles in the TORA booth this year.

  • A.R.E. ’11 Ford F-150 NFL Hall of Fame Commemorative Truck
  • Hellwig Products ’12 Ford F-250
  • Powerlabs Diesel ’11 Ford F-350
  • Robert Davis ’11 Toyota Tundra and ’10 Jeep Rubicon,Sponsored by Rolling Big Power and Plain & Simple by Design

Fall Nationals Awards Reception

The second annual TORA Fall Nationals Pinewood Drags at the TORA industry awards reception was again a big hit with the assembled crowd.
The TORA Fall Nationals Pinewood Drags was again the centerpiece for this year’s TORA industry awards reception, held on November 2 at the Renaissance Hotel.

Select Committee member Tom Brooks of Truckin’ Thunder brought 108 Pinewood cars all the way from Virginia. With help from SEMA Board of Directors member Van Woodell and wife Carol and select committee member Fred Snow of Hella, all of the cars were tuned up, tested and race ready just in time for the doors to open. Attendees were able to rent a Pinewood racer in exchange for a $25 donation to SEMA Cares, and it didn’t take long for all of the cars and trucks to be spoken for. Rick Hermann of Weather Tech acted as emcee and race announcer and, with help from other select committee members, the races ran like clockwork. At the end of eliminations, Wild Boar Products emerged as Top Eliminator of the second annual TORA Fall Nationals.

Following eliminations, four very special Pinewood cars—each built by a child from the Child Help facility in Virginia and signed by seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty—were auctioned off. When the auctioneer’s gavel fell on the last car, auction and Fall Nationals proceeds totaled $3,800 for SEMA Cares.

TORA Industry Awards

While the Fall Nationals certainly gathered a lot of attention during the evening, TORA leadership made sure that industry recognition remained the focal point for the annual gathering.

“The Fall Nationals is great stuff,” said George Lathouris, “and it’s amazing to experience the generosity of our membership and reception attendees and know that we will be able to provide much-needed assistance to the children at our SEMA Cares charity facilities. However, our volunteers give up their time on behalf of the light-truck industry, and we can never thank them enough. Our members provide products and services to benefit the light-truck industry. The membership also takes part in the awards process through their nominations and voting. The awards are just a small token of appreciation for all of that effort, and they will always be a focal point or our
annual gathering.”

Racing action was interrupted briefly to present the following 2011 TORA Industry Awards:

  • Hall of Fame Award: Ralph Gatti and Aden Miller of A.R.E.
  • Retailer of the Year: Jordan Camper, Jeff Glover
  • Chairman’s Award: Tom Brooks, Truckin’ Thunder
  • Best Product Over $500: Cap-Pack, Cargo Storage System
  • Best Product Under $500: Bolt, Toolbox Handle Retrofit Kit The TORA Fall Nationals Industry Awards Reception would not be possible without the help of our generous sponsors.

Diamond Sponsor

  • THI Corp.—Advantage Truck Accessories, Bedrug, Extang, TruXedo and Undercover

Platinum Sponsors

  • Restyling Magazine
  • Cal Trend
  • Weather Tech

Gold Sponsors

  • American Technology Components
  • DeeZee
  • Jim Wrobleski & Company
  • SnugTop
  • Keystone Automotive Operations

Silver Sponsors

  • Edge
  • Hella
  • Hellwig Products
  • K&N Filters
  • SEIA Alliant Insurance Services
  • Truck Covers
  • Super Chips