Around the Industry

Feb. 1, 2018
VIOC raising funds to fight cancer, Quality Lube Oil & Auto Center spreads hope, man shot during midday carjacking at repair shop and SEMA accepting scholarship applications make up some of the stories from Around the Industry.

VIOC Raising Funds to Fight Cancer

More than 80 Southern California Valvoline Instant Oil Change service centers offered point of purchase donation opportunities to benefit the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery Program, which provides free rides to patients who otherwise might miss their potentially life-saving cancer treatment. Customers who made a donation had the opportunity to display their donor cards at the automotive centers, creating a visual wall celebrating VIOC customer generosity.

The campaign ran November 24 through December 17, 2017, as part of the American Cancer Society and VIOC's growing partnership. VIOC has donated free oil changes to Road to Recovery drivers and has committed to raising funds for this critical program helping patients in need.

Road to Recovery drivers are volunteers who drive their own cars on their own time to take cancer patients to treatment and back all over Southern California. Each year, hundreds of rides are provided in the area.

"Thank you Valvoline for recognizing Road to Recovery drivers. This is a program near to my heart, and it is great to see such a trusted brand helping this holiday season," said Stephanie Deagle, an eight-year veteran of this program. As a small thank you for her volunteerism, she received a free oil change at VIOC's Huntington Beach location.

"We are excited at the opportunity to build a partnership with American Cancer Society. They are a wonderful organization who are on the front lines of fighting cancer both locally and nationally," said William Smelley, director of Marketing at the VIOC franchisee.

"Funds raised through the VIOC campaign will support our mission to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer," said Jane Barnes, senior manager in Corporate Relations for the American Cancer Society. "Specifically, the donation will support our free patient services programs like Road to Recovery, our world renowned cancer research program, and education and outreach."

Quality Lube Oil & Auto Center Spreads Hope

For its 15th annual toy drive in 2017, Quality Lube Oil & Auto Center worked with House of Hope to donate toys to children in need living in the Orion Lakes Mobile Home Park in Orion Township, Michigan, near Quality Lube's Auburn Hills location. Quality Lube Oil & Auto Center helped provide Christmas for 24 families in 2017 - approximately 106 people.
Delivering a truck load of donations. (Left to right) Alyssa from House of Hope; Liliana Lauhoff, Jennifer Braun Lauhoff and Austin Braun from Quality Lube Oil.

At the beginning of December, families who needed assistance filled out wish lists that included sizes, favorite toys, ages, genders and favorite colors. Quality Lube collected gifts and worked with House of Hope to match donations to each individual wish list. Gifts were delivered to homes a few days before Christmas so families would have presents to open on Christmas morning. Many of the toys donated by Quality Lube Oil went to families through this route. There was also a Christmas party for the children in the park, and around 35 children attended. The party included cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, crafts and time to leave your worries at the door and just be a kid. At the party, personalized stockings were distributed to each child, and more donated gifts were given out in these stockings.

In 2017, there were more families in need than in 2016, so all donations were greatly welcomed and appreciated. Quality Lube Oil customers who donated also received $7 off an oil change service.

"It is such a personal joy to collect and deliver these gifts each year," said Jennifer Braun Lauhoff, vice president of Quality Lube Oil & Auto Center. "The holiday season really comes to life when you can bring joy to a community and see a glowing smile on a child's face. It's nice to know that we can make a difference in someone's life, and we couldn't do it without our many generous customers and staff members."

Man Shot During Midday Carjacking at Repair Shop reported that a Cleveland man was shot in late November during a midday carjacking at an auto repair shop, Earl's Car Care.

A 28-year-old man and his 20-year-old girlfriend were inside their car at the shop waiting on their car repairs, police told A gunman walked up to their car with a gun, according to police reports.

The woman got out of the driver's side door and said, "Please don't shoot me," police told

According to police reports, the gunman opened the passenger door and pulled the 28-year-old man out of the car. The gunman then rummaged through the man's pockets and stole $900 and the car keys. The gunman shot the man with a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. He then ran east on Clark and drove off in a dark green Toyota.

The woman flagged down a passing car that took her boyfriend to a local hospital, reported.

SEMA Accepting Scholarship Applications

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund for students preparing for careers in the auto or auto parts industries at:

New this year, high school and part-time students can apply for a scholarship. The change is part of an effort by SEMA's Scholarship committee to start students down the automotive path and support their efforts at an earlier stage.

"SEMA is dedicated to activating the next-generation automotive workforce by providing financial support and career resources to students enrolled in various high schools, universities, colleges and/or vocational schools in the United States," said SEMA chairman-elect Tim Martin.

The SEMA Memorial Scholarship program offers financial assistance of up to $5,000 to help foster the next generation of automotive aftermarket industry leaders and innovators. Students can apply for the scholarship at: Deadline for the program is March 1, 2018. Scholarships are available in a variety of categories, such as accounting, sales and marketing and engineering. Dozens of awards ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 will be given out, with a $5,000 award going to the top student.

The program also includes a loan forgiveness aspect that offers financial awards to employees of SEMA member-companies who have completed and are paying off a loan for a program of study at an accredited university, college or vocational/technical program within the U.S.