WHAT IS SEMA CARES?
SEMA Cares provides a forum from which our association members can act as a collective influence toward making a positive impact beyond the automotive community.
We are able to significantly improve the lives of many who need it through our support of the great work done by the Austin Hatcher Foundation for pediatric cancer, Childhelp prevention and treatment of child abuse, and the Victory Junction camp for children with serious medical conditions and serious illnesses.
Established in 2007, SEMA Cares steers the same dedication and passion our membership has for automotive to the kind care of children and others in need.
HOW WE ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSION
Our primary fundraising is through charitable events and direct donations.
- The SEMA Cares pinewood races bring together the best of both worlds. The annual Pinewood Drags feature sponsored miniature wooden cars and trucks, designed by children and adults, racing in downhill action. The Industry Cup Challenge is where the top competitors in five industry categories compete head-to-head for bragging rights and trophy cup immortality.
- SEMA Cares also benefits from the Barrett-Jackson Auction sale of customized vehicles featuring member-donated parts & accessories, built in partnership with the SEMA Garage and member volunteers.
- Direct donations from SEMA Show exhibitors, SEMA Gear merchandise, and member fundraising events also benefit the efforts of SEMA Cares.
As you can see, the SEMA Cares mission embraces and values the participation of association members and other partners in a collective effort to make the world a better place.
Ways to Support SEMA Cares’ Partners:
Giving Back and Leveling Up Corporate Philanthropy
Established in 2007, SEMA Cares is a nonprofit entity that unites the automotive aftermarket’s efforts to support children and others in need. Hear from the three SEMA Cares charities and discover how you can support them.
During this on-demand session, representatives from the following groups updated the industry on how SEMA Cares has made a positive difference in the lives of children in need, and offer ideas on easy ways to get involved:
- Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer: Provides services to children with cancer and their families through industrial arts therapy, diversionary therapy, psycho-oncology and healthy lifestyle education
- Childhelp: Serving abused, neglected and at-risk children by focusing on advocacy, intervention, treatment, prevention, family resilience and community outreach
- Victory Junction: Founded in honor of Adam Petty, the program assists children with serious medical conditions and serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, at no cost to children and their families
Viewers will discover that there are many ways to support SEMA Cares and get involved. This is a perfect opportunity for businesses that want to level up their charitable programs and for individuals in the industry who want to get more involved and give back.
Purchasing a pinewood car is one of the easiest ways to contribute to SEMA Cares. The Annual Pinewood Drags has quickly become a signature event by combining just the right elements of charitable giving, community participation, automotive passion, and youthful spirit.
Donors have three options for participating:
- The Build-It-For-Me kit is the easiest. Simply purchase a kit and a child from one of our sponsored charities will decorate your vehicle.
- The Stock Class is for the child in each of us. You do the build using kit parts only. Decorations are the only modification allowed. Cars and trucks race side-by-side in this all-class competition.
- The Unlimited Class is for the true builder who is in it to win it. Your customization ethos is scaled down to size with an almost anything-goes race to be the best.
INDUSTRY CUP CHALLENGE
The Industry Cup Challenge takes charitable giving to the next level.
Sponsoring companies are divided into five divisions where they race with high-quality, child-built pinewood cars. Each division crowns a winning company which then goes on to represent that division in an all-out industry race to #1.
Everyone is a true winner as the charities continue to help those in need, the disadvantaged children have fun building toy cars, and the industry engages the community in an overwhelmingly positive way.
The industry challengers each have a limited number of entrants in the following divisions:
- Warehouse Distributors
- Media Groups
- Rep Agencies
- Service Providers
The champion can display the impressive trophy for a year with its company name boldly engraved among the winners. It must then be returned, in a Stanley Cup style tradition, as it will be up for grabs again at the next Pinewood Drags where the company will have a chance to defend the title
The donation cost is $1,000 per sponsoring company. The standard pinewood build rules apply to all competing vehicles. Vehicles are randomly assigned and the race is officiated by SEMA Cares volunteers.
2023 PINEWOOD RACE WINNERS
INDUSTRY CUP CHALLENGE
(Member Category Represented)
1ST PLACE CHAMPION
Rep Agency Class
Warehouse Distributor Class
Motor State Distributing
ICON Vehicle Dynamics
Service Providers Class
Lori Ramsey, Hypertech
THE IMPACT OF DONATING
SEMA Cares works with select charities that best reflect the values and interests of the automotive specialty equipment industry. We have worked hand-in-hand with each of these charities and seen the positive results that the funding helps provide.
We also look for opportunities to incorporate the joy of automotive into fun activities and fundraising. Projects and camp activities, from pinewood toy car kits to actual vehicle builds, give young minds a very important reprieve from hard life circumstances, even if only for a brief moment.
By donating through SEMA Cares, you make a larger and more significant impact of giving as part of a collective automotive industry voice while still knowing that your contributions go directly to the individual charities without administrative overhead.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
There are ways to help others in need beyond financial donations. SEMA Cares hosts and assists with various sponsored events throughout the year.
We offer the opportunity to help behind-the-scenes or work directly with the community members and charitable organizations. If you would like to get involved in making a difference in your area, remotely, or at any SEMA Cares event please let us know by completing a volunteer application.
Kathryn ReinhardtImmediate Past Chair
Will BrownCommittee Member
Jenna JefferiesCommittee Member
Erika MarquezCommmittee Member
Michelle McGaughyCommmittee Member
Colby McLaughlinCommmittee Member
Lori RamseyCommmittee Member
Chris StandiferSEMA STAFF LIASON
Customized with product donations by SEMA-member companies, this 2009 Ford F-150 Super Crew 4X4 was available through eBay auction to benefit childrens charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. The vehicle was sold to Ron Schmucker of San Ramon, California, for $30,100.
WD-40 Company and SEMA Cares, the association's charity arm, have partnered to build a custom 2010 Camaro for the 2009 SEMA Show. Several specialty-equipment manufacturers are also pitching in to bring the classic pony car back in style, and with its aggressive stance, 6.2L V8 and 600+ hp, the WD-40/SEMA Cares Camaro has exceptional performance to match its distinctive look.
Custom '12 Ford F-350 Super Duty work truck that will include Foose-inspired custom front- and rear-wheel flares, side rockers and a front chin spoiler, among other upgrades. The WD-40 Specialist/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-350 represents the new WD-40 Specialist line of products
Leading aftermarket companies that stepped up to donate parts, equipment and services to the project include: Street Scene Equipment, Barrett-Jackson, LMC Truck, L&R Engine, Egge, MHT Wheels, Pirelli Tires, BASF Paint, American Auto Wire, Painless Performance, Quiet Ride, K&N Filters, McGard and others.
The enhanced '13 Ford F-150 Lariat, a collaboration between SEMA manufacturing members and students from the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), was designed by industry icon Chip Foose and is the first vehicle to be modified in the SEMA Garage – Industry Innovations Center in Diamond Bar, California. All modifications and installs were performed by students from the AXC.
Customized through a collaboration between Omix-ADA and the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts, the upfitted, dirt-ready Jeep features $30,000 in aftermarket parts and accessories. As part of the build, a team of students from the school modified the standard four-door JK Sport at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California, using parts from several donor companies.
Transformed from a standard four-door Jeep Wrangler JK into a one-of-a-kind "ready-when-you-are" Jeep, was custom designed by "Overhaulin'" co-host and UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste, along with LFTD & LVLD magazine, Rugged Ridge and SEMA Cares, and it was built by DUB Gara
The custom Petty's Garage-built Jeep Wrangler JKU began life as a stock 2016 Hydro Blue JK Rubicon and was transformed into the "ultimate off-road masterpiece" through the addition of a full array of Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge parts and accessories
WD-40 Company has partnered with SEMA Cares to build a custom '67 Chevrolet Camaro in celebration of both the SEMA Show's and the Camaro's 50th anniversaries. The Camaro project was designed by noted car builder Neil Tjin and built in partnership with Tjin and instructors from Universal Technical Institute. Build partners that have donated product for use on the Camaro include Eckler's, Budnik Wheels, Axalta, Eibach, Falken Tires, Baer Brake Systems, LR Auto Body and Optima Batteries. The engine, transmission, suspension, wheels and tires will be installed on PowerNation TV.