Aftermarket Foundation board members Richard Scovner, Tenneco Automotive (center) and Terry O’Reilly, Pricedex Software (right), take a pause from the Golf Tournament to pose with a DSR representative in front of Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel Army dragster.
Aftermarket industry leaders hit the links at the 2011 Aftermarket Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament—held on the eve of AAPEX/SEMA 2011—to raise awareness of the Aftermarket Foundation. The event, which took place at the Las Vegas Country Club and was attended by more than 144 golfers, set a new fundraising record by bringing in more than $350,000.
The cause is one that applies directly to those working in the automotive aftermarket. For more than 50 years, the Aftermarket Foundation has been assisting individuals and families from the automotive aftermarket industry who have fallen on extreme hard times because of death, serious illness or other financial hardship. The tournament’s fundraising will assist in the launch of an industry-wide awareness campaign, intended to let people know that the Foundation is there to help in times of emergency.
The event included a number of celebrity notables, including NHRA racing legend Don Schumacher and drivers Johnny Gray and “Fast” Jack Beckman. The morning started off with a breakfast gathering and a clinic by PGA Golf Pro Bruce Fleisher, who gave some valuable tips to the golfers in attendance.
Bob Schoeberl, emcee for the event, noted: “This is the Foundation’s largest single event of the year, and it’s a time when industry leaders can get together and take a short break from competing in business, and compete on the golf course instead—and all for a really good cause.”
NHRA competitor, and DSR Team Driver “Fast” Jack Beckman (foreground) and teammate Johnny Gray (bowing) attended and participated in the Aftermarket Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament, held at the Las Vegas Country Club on Monday, October 31, 2011. The tournament raised over $350,000 for the Aftermarket Foundation.
Schoeberl and Andy Dudash of TBC, chair of the Organizing Committee, paid special tribute to committee teammates who put the event together. “This has been our most successful tournament ever, a truly amazing achievement by a small team.” The organizing team also included Bob Schoeberl and Andy Dudash of TBC, who chaired the organizing team. The team included John Nicholson of Auto-Gard Triple P, Lynn Parker of TBC, Rich Scovner of Tenneco, and Marita Powell, executive assistant. Dudash and Schoeberl also acknowledged the special involvement this year of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), the Aftermarket Foundation’s newest partner and co-sponsor.
Schumacher, owner of DSR and president of Schumacher Electric Corp., was not only present, but also an active player on the course. “Schumacher Electric Corp. is a longstanding member of the automotive aftermarket, and the success of the Don Schumacher Racing team depends on the spirit of innovation for which our industry is renowned,” explained Schumacher. “The good work of the Aftermarket Foundation, in supporting and helping those within our industry who have fallen on hard times and find themselves with no place to go for help, is an exceptionally noble cause, and one with which we are very proud to be associated. It is unique, and to my knowledge, is the only industry-run and industry-driven benevolent organization of its kind.”
More than 120 aftermarket companies supported the event. Foundation Board and Golf Committee member, Lynn Parker of TBC Retail coordinated the Schumacher participation in the golf tournament, said: “Don Schumacher and his team already know how much we have appreciated this support, and with their help, we blew the top off our previous record, which is one fantastic achievement. But, at the end of this very special day, the real heroes are all those aftermarket people and companies who contribute to this event with sponsorships, cash and prizes. They know who they are,” he added, “but we want them to know that our hats are truly off to them, for recognizing the cause and stepping up to meet the need. Our golf tournament supporters are a veritable ‘who’s who’ of this great industry and they have our genuine admiration for supporting this event.”
Activities at the golf course included an ESPN film crew and media team following the drivers and the golfers, taking footage for an upcoming video profiling the Aftermarket Foundation. Foundation board member, and member of the Executive Committee, Terry O’Reilly, commented, “The Aftermarket Foundation is embarking on a new awareness campaign, focused on ensuring that people from across all segments of the Aftermarket are aware of the Foundation, and know to reach out to us, when they, or someone they know, is in dire circumstances with nowhere else to turn.”
“People in our industry can expect to hear more from the Foundation in the weeks to come, as we put together material to help our supporters and partner companies spread the word about the Foundation to their employees and families. We would like every company in the aftermarket to partner with us in our no-cost 'Awareness Program.' Some people are embarrassed or afraid to come forward themselves when they need help or simply don’t know about us. By partnering with us on awareness, aftermarket companies can ensure that their employees know, and take comfort in the fact, that this is a very special industry with a special safety-net to help those in financial trouble due to a death, serious accident, illness or other causes, when all else fails.”
“After all,” O’Reilly added, “if we don’t take care of our own, who will?”