Commerce Insurance, a Division of MAPFRE USA “C.A.R.E.S in the Community” program is reaching out to new drivers about safe driving practices as well as providing opportunities for vocational technical students to improve their auto body repair skills. A most recent effort of the C.A.R.E.S. in the Community program features the donation of two damaged vehicles to be repaired by Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton, Massachusetts.
The damaged cars—a 2010 Toyota Camry and a 2010 Toyota Corolla—are being repaired by students at Bay Path in conjunction with Long Subaru of Webster, Massachusetts. The repaired vehicles will be raffled and the proceeds from the raffle of the two vehicles will be shared between four area schools—Bay Path, Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Oxford High School and Bartlett High School. All four schools will be involved in marketing and selling raffle tickets. The C.A.R.E.S. in the Community program also includes safety-related presentations during the course of the school year.
“The C.A.R.E.S. program is Commerce’s way of giving back to the community on a number of levels—helping tomorrow’s auto body repair technicians receive real-life training, raising much needed funds for local high schools and bringing a message of safety for teen drivers,” said Jaime Tamayo, President and CEO of MAPFRE | Commerce Insurance. “Commerce’s employees who live in the community are also participating by volunteering their time supporting various events throughout the school year.”
Local businesses have been an integral part of the C.A.R.E.S. in the Community program. One local business, Long Subaru has provided their facility and experienced technicians to assist in the structural repair process. This allows the students the educational experience to observe the repair process in an actual working environment.
“We’re quite familiar with the high caliber of students from Bay Path. In fact, two of our current staff members, Chris Shays and Shawn Lemire, are Bay Path graduates and have worked closely with the students on the repair of two vehicles,” said Jim Melbourne, Long’s auto body shop manager. “The students working on these cars not only have an eagerness to learn but a real passion for automobiles and that’s an encouraging thing to see from the next generation of auto repair technicians.”
In addition to Long Subaru, Boch Collision Center of Norwood and Harr Auto Body in Worcester, have generously contributed parts and labor totaling nearly $ 22,000.
The C.A.R.E.S. in the Community outreach to the four schools will also include a safety awareness program involving students, parents, teachers, administrators and town safety officials. Part of that effort will involve students completing a teen safe driver survey and agreement. Students participating in the survey will then be eligible to win an advanced driver crash prevention course offered by In Control Advanced Driver Training (a $ 299 value).
“The excitement throughout the school on the repair of the vehicles has heightened the anticipation of selling raffle tickets in the area communities” said Dave Antocci, Vice President of Claims at Commerce. “We’re hoping that enthusiasm translates to a successful fundraising drive for the schools.”
For more information on the C.A.R.E.S in the Community Program, please contact Cathy Peterson. Information on ticket sales and locations will be released January 2011.