SEMA Member News - January/February 2010
The Tradition Continues
TORA Again Supports Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp
The Velociraptor tall truck rounded out the trio that helped the TORA booth raise $3,000 for Childhelp and the Victory Junction Gang Camp charities.
Once again, the TORA booth at the SEMA Show was able to raise $3,000 for Childhelp and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Three SEMA-member companies each donated $1,000 to the charities in exchange for having their vehicles on display in the booth.
“The generosity of TORA members continues to overwhelm me,” said TORA Chairman Kelly Kneifl. “Here we are in one of the worst economies of our lifetimes, and we didn’t even have to solicit for display vehicles this year. Normally, we utilize SEMA News and SEMA eNews to let people know of the opportunity. This year, we had all three spots filled without so much as an e-mail. Two of the donating companies returned for their second straight year.
“The money raised from the booth translates directly into tangible gifts for the kids at the camps. To date, we’ve been able to purchase three Pinewood tracks for use at the facilities and at SEMA events, such as the Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser held every July. We have a couple of options for the funds from this year, and whatever we ultimately choose to do, rest assured that the donations will go directly to the kids.”
The TORA booth also served as a convenient meeting place for TORA members and non-members alike.
Three SEMA-member companies each donated $1,000 to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp charities in exchange for having their vehicles on display in the TORA booth.
“I want to thank SEMA and Convexx for giving us a prime location on the SEMA Show floor for our booth,” Kneifl said. “The TORA sign hanging from the ceiling was one of the first things you could see as you walked into the South Hall from registration. That not only helped us show off the vehicles but also really helped us connect with members and, more importantly, potential members.”
TORA Select Committee members staffed the booth for the duration of the SEMA Show and kept it stocked with everything they needed to attract and sign new members as well as promote the annual TORA industry awards reception. Their efforts resulted in six new TORA memberships!
TORA Presents Annual Industry Awards
The TORA Industry reception has become a Wednesday-night tradition for truck accessories professionals at the SEMA Show. The tradition continued for 2009, but with two new twists. The reception moved from its longtime home at the Hilton Hotel to the Renaissance hotel, and the presentation of the annual TORA industry awards was added to the reception agenda. (TORA awards had been presented previously at the SEMA Spring Expo.)
No solicitation was necessary. A.R.E. was one of three companies that stepped up to grace the booth with a state-of-the-art project vehicle.
“The Renaissance location makes good sense for TORA,” said Kneifl. “It is literally right out the door from South Hall, where all of the truck accessory manufacturers display. We had some minor challenges—normal stuff that happens when you do something for the first time with a new partner and when you change locations. But in the end, the room was packed, our awards presentation went well and everyone had a good time. There were a couple dozen folks still there an hour after the bar closed and the room was packed up, which is a good indication of a successful evening. We’ve already designed some changes for the reception and the awards next year. As everyone reading this knows, the SEMA Show will be here again before we know it!”
The following awards were presented at the TORA industry reception. Congratulations to all the winners.
- Best New Product Under $500: Weathertech Multifit Cargo and Trunk Liner
- Best New Product Over $500: Undercover SE Tonneau
- Ron Webster Award: Bolt One Key Lock Technology Padlock
- Retailer of the Year Award: The Truck Outfitters
- TORA Hall of Fame Award: Van Woodell, Weathers Auto Supply
- TORA Chairman’s Award: Ron DiVincenzo, Cap World
The money raised from the TORA booth translates directly into tangible gifts for the kids at the camps. Hellwig’s contribution definitely helped the cause.
(The Best New Product and Ron Webster awards were chosen from products displayed in the SEMA New Products Showcase area.)
Kneifl also thanked reception sponsors and the Select Committee for their help and assistance.
“I keep saying it, but it’s true: Our members have tremendous passion for the industry,” he said. “The Select Committee takes its responsibilities seriously, and every member makes proactive efforts to get things accomplished. We also obtained considerable sponsorship for the event, and each one deserves special recognition. We couldn’t do it without them.”
TORA thanks the following companies for their generous support of the TORA Industry Awards Reception.
- Platinum Level: DuPont
- Gold Level: Access Roll Up Cover
- Silver Level: Bedrug, Extang, Keystone Automotive Operations, SnugTop, TruXedo, Wescoast Marketing
- Bronze Level: ACD, American Technology Components, Hella Lighting, Hellwig Industries, Husky Liner, Jotto Desk, Pilot Automotive