On October 26, Mike’s Auto Body hosted a Grand Opening ribbon-cutting event and gave away its 73rd vehicle to Veteran USMC Ryan Mason at its Vallejo location.
The festivities were kicked off by Benevolence Program Coordinator Sal Contreras, who welcomed the 100-plus people in attendance followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony with CFO Ragen Ortland, CEO Brennan Rose and Vallejo Chamber President and CEO James Cooper.
At every Mike’s Benevolence presentation, there is an Invocation by Contreras followed by the playing of America the Beautiful by Napa Post 113 American Legion Color Guard featuring bagpipe player Kristopher Muse who is also a technician at Mike’s. The National Anthem was then sung by St. Patrick St. Vincent’s High School’s Choir, under the direction of Ryan Lee.
The big moment of the day was when Ryan Mason received a 2016 Hyundai Elantra that was completely restored by the crew at Vallejo that donated their time. Mason did four tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is married and has a five-month-old daughter. He was wounded in action and suffers from PTSD, and before receiving the vehicle, he often had to walk to and from his job.
Other speakers and sponsors made presentations during the ceremony. Mike’s Marketing Director Dane Dearlove shared our story of Benevolence; Vallejo’s Mayor Bob Sampayan welcomed Mike’s to the city; Assemblyman Tim Grayson (14th District) presented the Rose family with a plaque and Founder/CEO of the East County Veterans Support Services Josie Monaghan spoke, as well as Hertz Rent A Car Area Manager Manny Bernal prior the Presentation of the 2018 Benevolence Car to Veteran USMC Ryan Mason.
Dearlove discussed the importance of the company’s Benevolence program and its role in the Bay Area. “We are making history today with our Benevolence Program. Benevolence is just a word, but talk is cheap, but Mike’s Auto Body puts action behind their words to make it work. It starts at the top and works its way down, which means that many of our employees and vendors get involved. We do this to make a real difference in the communities where we do business for all of the right reasons, and it’s now become a part of our legacy.
“After sharing Ryan’s story, we all agreed Ryan is worthy of receiving the Benevolence Car this year,” Contreras said. “As a veteran combat Marine, Ryan has honored our country with four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. By receiving this car, Ryan will not have to walk or take the bus to work anymore.”