Improve Your Community While Making Your Company Shine

Jim Luff
Posted on December 17, 2019
Jamie Durham, Program Manager for the Mission at Kern shows items purchased with a community grant. Target employees who rang up the $5000 sales are in the background. (photos: Jim Luff)

Jamie Durham, Program Manager for the Mission at Kern shows items purchased with a community grant. Target employees who rang up the $5000 sales are in the background. (photos: Jim Luff)

In 1994 I was asked to sponsor a charity event being produced for the very first time. It would benefit organizations that serve children such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Society for Disabled Children, and many others. I offered $1,000 in exchange for our company logo to be printed on all event tickets, volunteer T-shirts, a printed program, and of course, all of the television and print media ads.

I could have never imagined how involved I would become or how Childrens’ Advocates Resource Endowment (CARE) would grow and become part of the fabric of the community. I certainly couldn’t have envisioned I would become president of the organization and lead it for 13 years. Year after year, we made our $1,000 sponsorship (eventually upping it to $2,500). We also loaned the event a golf cart with our logo all over it and it was seen by thousands as it cruised through the event.

LCT’s General Manager, Jim Luff (background) waits to pay for items being donated to the Mission at Kern, a homeless shelter in Bakersfield, Calif.

LCT’s General Manager, Jim Luff (background) waits to pay for items being donated to the Mission at Kern, a homeless shelter in Bakersfield, Calif.

Speaking of the event, what began on the rooftop of a downtown parking garage has grown to include 17 acres of festival. The event was originally called Brews on the Roof and featured about 25 microbrew samples and a single band. Today, there are 17 bands playing on five stages for 7,000 guests who pay about $100 per ticket. That ticket provides access to 32 food stations, 150 types of beers, 60 wine varieties, and much more — for one price.

My former company, The Limousine Scene, became synonymous with the event with a fully reserved curb space for limos and buses lining the front of the outdoor museum called Pioneer Village. The event became known as Brews in the Village and later, Village Fest. The original event was held on the rooftop only twice. The second time, the party was halted by public safety officials because so many people were dancing on the roof that the building actually swayed a little from too much weight. We knew we had a winner, but would need to move.

LCT’s General Manager Jim Luff is seen with the shopping team from Legacy Family Services. The purchased items will be given to foster children for Christmas.

LCT’s General Manager Jim Luff is seen with the shopping team from Legacy Family Services. The purchased items will be given to foster children for Christmas.

We use the money raised to provide grants to local organizations within our community. I always wear a Limousine Scene logoed shirt for all media appearances and check presentation. My name, along with Limousine Scene’s name, became well known for our support of the community. CARE has donated $1.5 million since our inception and has another $4.5 million in investment accounts that will continue to serve grants well into the future. Limousine Scene offered special Village Fest pricing for transportation.

I love the holiday season. This gives us the opportunity to help make sure at-risk youth such as foster kids and kids living in homeless shelters receive toys, clothes, school supplies, and pajamas. I recently took two different groups shopping at Target. Legacy Family Services serves foster children. The Mission at Kern is a homeless center where many families live. The experience of a shopping spree is just as exciting for me as it is to the teams who join me from the respective agencies. Tis’ the season for giving. Give your commuity your time and financial support, and your community will support you right back.

Related Topics: California operators, charity, community involvement, donations, Jim Luff, LCT blog

Jim Luff General Manager
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