Meguiar's President and CEO Barry Meguiar acted as emcee for the 2008 SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser.
More than 500 members of the industry joined the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser in Irvine, California, July 25, to honor 2008 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees Raymond Bleiweis, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Corky Coker and Bob Cook, and to raise money for children's charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. They also came to thank five members for their service to the SEMA Board of Directors, as well as welcome new members to the Board.
The event kicked off at 8:30 a.m. with the Internet Symposium, eight seminars presented by SEMA's Street Performance Council focused on harnessing the power of the Internet to help specialty-equipment businesses grow. Topics ranged from the fundamentals of Internet marketing to the advanced use of pay-per-click advertising and strategies to protect your intellectual property online.
As the last seminar wrapped up at 4:30 p.m., the Pinewood Drag Races were already running hot, as competitors from the Modified class started their runs, following heats in the Team Owner and Stock classes (CLICK HERE for more about Pinewood Drag Races).
As the Pinewood Drag Races ramped up to their thrilling conclusion, the Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser evening program kicked off at 6:00 p.m. with a silent and live auction, highlighted by a simultaneous eBay auction for Kyle Petty's 2006 Victory Jackpot motorcycle, which closed just before the evening program. The winning bid for Petty's motorcycle, which also includes a spot on Petty's 2009 Charity Ride, came in at $17,601.
A rousing version of the national anthem, performed by 11-year-old Hailey Dibiasi, opened the dinner and program that followed, led by emcee Barry Meguiar, and honored the SEMA Hall of Fame inductees. The program also featured thoughts from SEMA Cares Committee Chairman Joel Ayres and SEMA Chairman Jim Cozzie.
SEMA thanks all for their extraordinary volunteer effort, and encourages all who would like to volunteer for next year's event to contact Special Events Administrator Lisa Moreno at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eleven-year-old Hailey Dibiasi opened the evening program with "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Abbi Driggers from Victory Junction Gang Camp read aloud a poem that her grandfather wrote.
Corky Coker led the live auction portion of the banquet, which included a Charlie 1 Horse cowboy hat from Richard Petty's personal collection.
2008 SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Raymond Bleiweis.
2008 SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
2008 SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Corky Coker.
2008 SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Bob Cook.
SEMA thanks outgoing Board Members…
(from left), SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting; Matt Agosta, Steele Rubber Products; Dick Hill, Centerforce Clutches; Bill Wagner Jr., Winfield Consumer Products/Husky Liners; Patrick Judge, Keystone Automotive Operations; Jon Wyly, Arrow Speed Warehouse; and SEMA Chairman Jim Cozzie, Zoom Performance Products.
…and welcomes its incoming Board Members
(from left) SEMA Chairman Jim Cozzie, Zoom Performance Products; Ralph Accinno, Racer’s Equipment Warehouse; Ron Funfar, Hedman Hedders/Trans-Dapt; Luanne Brown, eTool Developers; BJ Leanse, Big Country Truck Accessories; Ed Orzetti, Keystone Automotive Operations; Chris Thomson, AIRAID Filter Company; Tim Watts, Superlift Suspension Systems; and SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.