Vehicle Review: This is one fully loaded, super-sized SUV.
[Image by © Simon Cory of Simon Cory Photography]
During my nearly 30 years in the ground transportation industry, I have experienced many catastrophic events that require immediate financial aid. Those include everything from weather-caused disasters to America’s worst disaster, 9/11. They include personal matters from people needing funeral funds to medical funds following major accidents or illness. These donations are on top of the financial expense of attending numerous industry events from trade shows to golf tournaments, casino nights to regional meetings. The expense of being in the limo business is huge and the pressures to keep up with all the charity causes can be financially overwhelming. There….I said it and it feels good.
I don’t know if there is any method I could use to track the amount of money raised annually in our industry. Between The Harold Berkman Memorial Fund, Wish for Our Heroes, The Semper Fi Fund, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, Cystic Fibrosis, CHIPS House, and state associations, the donation amounts and generosity of our industry are surely in the millions of dollars. The literal buck doesn’t stop here. I guarantee you for every dollar spent on industry charity campaigns, operators are spending five times as much on local charities of their choice in their own backyard. Whether that means donated transportation service, sponsorships, or a good old fashioned cash donation, local causes should be an operator’s first choice for donations. Support the community that supports your business.
I was recently approached by an industry colleague who proposed yet another fundraiser for the industry to raise money for something near and dear to her heart. She asked my thoughts about this idea and I probably was a little more passionate in my response than I should have been. That could have been because I had two cups of coffee that day and I don’t even drink coffee, or it could be because I had just written a $1,000 check for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society when I saw yet another open hand extended in front of me.
Before you think I'm not a charitable person, let me share I'm the president of the largest charity organization in my county serving children. We donated our one millionth dollar last November. I am the former president of a charity that serves foster kids and their families, Secret Witness (a law enforcement tool that pays money for information), Kern County 911 Dispatchers Recognition Program, and I serve as the chief fundraiser and board member for League of Dreams and the Arizona Limousine Association. There is no shortage of giving on my part. I believe you should support the causes your heart believes in, and you most certainly should give to the local organizations that directly serve your community.
There are many great organizations within every community that desperately need your money, support, and even your elbow grease. Roll up those sleeves and get involved. Open your wallet and give generously. Loan the skills and intelligence held in your brain and serve on a board or committee. People like to do business with those they see serving their own community. Place the donation of your time, money, and service to your community at the top of the priority list and you will have more money to give to various industry selected causes like the upcoming Limo Patriot Ride in Las Vegas. It is certainly fun to participate in things like a motorcycle ride, golf tournament, or casino night, and know you are doing a good deed that helps others. The fact it may be tax deductible makes it even better.
Jim & Hillary Luff – 2017 Tax Return Donations
Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment $2500
Kern County Dispatcher Recognition Program $1500
Bakersfield Fire Dept. Burn Foundation $1000
Bakersfield Fire Dept. Historical Society $500
Bakersfield Homeless Center $500
Country Christian Church $500
St. Baldrick’s Cancer Research $500
League of Dreams $465
Discovery Elementary PTA $460
Bakersfield Fire Dept. Firefighters Relief Assoc. $250
St. Jude’s $250
Camp KEEP $200
Kern County Firefighters Burn Foundation $200
CSUB Scholarship Fund $150
Castle Elementary PTA $130
Girl Scouts Troop 3570 $50
Boy Scouts Troop #11 $75
Fruitvale PTA $52.50
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