On five occasions, Hi-Tech Collision in Sidney has refurbished a car and given it away to a local family and co-owner Steve Weller says he still sees the first one motoring around town.
Hi-Tech has partnered over the last eight to nine years with the Sidney Rotary Club to find a car, rebuild it and donate it to a family who really needs it. Weller said he leaves finding the family in need up to Rotary members like Kenny Podmore.
“He’s the guy that gets things done,” Weller said. “He’s always been my contact with Rotary. They find the family and I take care of the car.”
Weller said they find a car that is an insurance company write-off and he and his staff volunteer their time to rebuild it. They have it fully inspected to ensure it’s road-worthy, paint it, new tires and a full tank of gas are added by Peninsula Brake and Tire, it’s insured for a full year through SeaFirst Insurance, who, along with Thifty Foods, fill it with food and gifts. Weller said he makes a lot of calls this time of year — to paint shops, insurance companies and more — to make it all come together.
“I pull in all my markers for the year on this one.”
This Saturday, the car will be awarded to a local family or individual, as chosen by Rotarians.
“It’s a really amazing thing,” Weller added. “I still see the first car driving around the community.”