ASA chapter bands together to provide disabled veteran refurbished van
Seattle—When Candy Johns, co-owner of Suburb Service in Lake Forest Park, was contacted by Mike Flood of the Seattle Seahawks about a woman in need, Johns, her husband and business partner, Howard Musolf, along with numerous members of the Sno-King North Chapter of ASA Northwest, began a project that would involve hundreds of hours of work and a substantial amount of money.
Flood, the vice president of community development for the football franchise, was aware of a disabled veteran who was living in her van that was no longer operable.
“We went to look at the van and determined it was not worthy of being repaired,” said Musolf, president of the Sno-King North Chapter.
Tim Lempke, from Earl’s Garage in Shoreline, another ASA member, advised Johns and Musolf that their shop had a 1992 GMC mobility van that had been abandoned by a customer and could be provided as a replacement vehicle.
“While it had a remanufactured engine from Jasper with only 30,000 miles, the transmission needed to be replaced, so the hunt began at recyclers for a transmission, but the prices were a bit high,” Musolf said, adding that the group opted to raise funds to purchase a reman transmission from a local source.
Musolf and Johns said their chapter members, allied members, and other ASA-NW chapters began sending donations to get the van repaired and ready for use by the woman in need. The collected monies were given to the 12sHELPING12s organization, a non-profit group of Seahawks fans that provide needed financial assistance and services to the community in the Puget Sound region. That group handled the finances involved in the project.
The transmission was rebuilt by TRC in Kent, but there was also a need to have other work performed, including the front-end suspension, door and window motors, a battery system replacement, brakes, plus other system repair and a variety of parts.
In the end, Musolf said numerous shops and allied members donated services, parts, and funding. Those include Broad Stroke Associates, Benefit Solutions Northwest, Drivelines Northwest, Valley Automotive, Doug’s Affordable Towing (towed van four times to various shops), Fast Undercar, LKQ, Juanita Firs 76, KOMO TV, Thomas Hove at Seattle University, Mike Flood of the Seahawks, Pat McCue and the Bothell High School Automotive Technology class, and Kevin Marks of All Battery Sales & Service (Interstate Batteries of Seattle) who donated a battery system for the van.
“Special thanks goes to Earl’s Garage for not only donating the van, but the installation of the transmission, radiator, head lights, and more,” Musolf said. “And to GP Automotive in Everett and Quality Foreign Auto in Mill Creek for their generous donations of parts and labor.”
Musolf said more than $1,400 in donations were raised, some $2,600 in parts were donated, and more than 400 labor hours were donated by members. “Candy was certainly the point person, but so many of the members stepped up to assist in this unique project. It bonded our group and we’re now looking for another vehicle project to help someone in the community. And we challenge others in our industry to do something similar.” q