On Nov. 10, Mike’s Auto Body celebrated Veteran’s Day by participating in Fairfield’s annual Veteran’s Day Parade and then later presented two completely refurbished vehicles to active military families who are stationed at Travis Air Force Base. It was all part of our annual Benevolence program, which is a community relationship program whose mission is to present refurbished “new” used cars to deserving individuals or organizations.
Traditionally, one of the Benevolence vehicles is covered and adorned with a red, white and blue bow and rides in the parade on one of our tow trucks all the way to our Fairfield location. With a new twist this year, we asked the recipients to drive their Benevolence cars in the parade the next day on Nov. 11. The cheers of joy and gratitude were shouted out along the entire parade route.
Senior Airman Khalil Hart, who is a reservist at Travis AFB, received a 2012 Chevrolet Impala that was donated by Nationwide Insurance and then refurbished by the crew at our Fairfield location. In addition, Senior Airman Kyle Forsyth received a 2014 Toyota Corolla that was donated by GEICO Insurance and then refurbished by the crew at our Antioch store.
Kahlil will now be able to attend a school in Oakland, CA to pursue his A&P (Aircraft and Power plant) license to work on airplanes. Since the commute is at least 90 minutes in each direction, the Kahlil family will be able to attend community and church events and meetings and make doctor’s appointments for their two young boys now with their Impala.
Senior Airman Kyle Forsyth is currently assigned to the 60th OSS where he works as an Air Traffic Controller in the RAPCON. He is married with three children and has been stationed at Travis AFB since 2013. With his new transportation, Kyle will now be able to to get his one-year-old son Hayden to his doctor’s appointments and other commitments on time. Born in June of 2016 with a rare form of congenital heart disease that required emergency open heart surgery, the Forsyth’s lives were instantly turned upside down when Hayden entered the world. Thankfully, the surgery was successful, but Hayden still needs constant medical attention, which means visiting doctors throughout the Bay Area on an ongoing basis. By having a second vehicle, life will be considerably easier for the Forsyth family.
This year, Mike’s Auto Body partnered with GEICO Insurance, Nationwide Insurance, Operation Care and Comfort, TAFB Airman and Family Readiness Center, Vanden High School Band–Director Bryan Williams, Pink Heals of Solano County–Natalie Zell, Napa Post 113 Legion Guard, Recycled Rides, Charity Cars, IACC, NABC, Fairfield Tire Center, Napa Auto Parts Fairfield, Roseville Toyota, Lexus of Concord, Winter Chevrolet, Precision Brake and Front End, Big “O” Tires, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Other thanks go to Tonya Racasner, April Dingle , Julie DeMaria and Capt. Joey C. Brewer.
Military officers from Travis AFB, Mayor Harry Price, Assemblyman Jim Frazier, Assembly member Bill Dodd’s Field Representative Ron Turner, Michael Brimer, Assemblyman Frazier’s Veterans Ambassador, Jack Batchelor, Senior Field Representative for Congressman Garamendi, Col. J. Pickard, Commander 349th Maintenance Group at Travis AFB, Lt. Co. R. Heusser Commander 60th Operation Support Squadron and Operation Support Squadron Commanding Sergeant David Iglesias attended the presentation along with family members and friends.
Derek Voss, GEICO Auto Damage Adjuster presented Kyle Forsyth with his vehicle and Brad Slease, Nationwide Insurance Claims Manager presented Khalil Hart with his car.
Just like at every Benevolence event since day one, Mike’s Auto Body’s program Director Sal Contreras made a few welcoming and closing remarks. “We never get tired of giving vehicles to deserving people in the military and this year was special, because we were able to give away two cars,” he said. “By providing these recipients with these cars, we’re giving them the gift of transportation that offers them independence and a chance to improve their lives. We call this a hand up, rather than a handout, because we have seen these vehicles enabled people to do great things.”
The company’s next Benevolence presentation of 2017 is scheduled for December 13 at their Antioch ADAC location where they will give away four more vehicles, making it a total 72 cars since 2000.
The Mike’s Auto Body Benevolence program is a “community give-back program” whose mission is to present cars to deserving individuals or organizations during the holiday season. Everything is donated, including the cars, parts, paint, mechanical inspections, tires and one full year of insurance. The body and paint technicians at Mike’s Auto Body donate their time and skills to turn these cars into pristine “new” used vehicles.
Special thanks to Mike’s technicians Sheldon Ludlow, Shawn Teeter, Arturo Ramos, Carlos Wencesiao, Colin Turk, Thomas Wilson and Managers Missy Trolinder and Tony Cory Flies and the rest of the crew at our Fairfield location for helping to refurbish the vehicle for Khalil Hart. Richard Moe, Justin Leverton, Guillermo Hernandez, Jose Hernandez, Jose Garcia, John Lenoach, Hector Arcos, Raul Sandate, Mario Cavillo, Leonard Valles, Robert Sandate, Armando Romero, Jamiah Smith, Danielle Knowles, Michael Hernandez, and Managers Cheryl Arvizu and James Maltbie at our Antioch location for Senior Airman Kyle Forsyth.