Thursday, October 25, 2012
Ohio Shop Hosts Benefit for Wounded Iraq War Veteran
Jim West, CEO of the Theobald Family CARSTARs of Ohio, and his wife Donna hosted "A Soldier's Benefit" October 13, raising more than $20,000 that will go toward building a computerized custom house for a wounded veteran of the Iraq War.
Sergeant First Class (SFC) Michael Schlitz was serving in the U.S. Army on Feb. 27, 2007, in the southern Bagdad area on a road-clearing mission to find improvised explosive devices when two artillery shells attached to a propane tank exploded. Schlitz's driver, gunner and medic were killed, and the blast threw Schlitz away from the crew's Humvee. He was burned over 85 percent of his body, lost both arms, spent four months in a medically induced coma and received 80 surgeries.
Depending on the person's needs, a Smart Home costs anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 and includes many computerized functions, doorways that accommodate different types of wheelchairs and custom-fitted bathrooms. Donors to the cause can visit the online Smart Home registry at www.buildingforamericasbravest.org, learn about the individuals their money will help and pay for specific features or accessories on an itemized checklist.
Jim West volunteered to host a $50-a-ticket fundraiser at the Five Seasons Sports Club Cincinnati with support from other local companies. Proceeds for the evening and money raised online at www.asoldiersbenefit.org amounted to more than $20,000, all of which will go toward building the home for Schlitz and his mother in Forston, GA.
"Sergeant First Class Schlitz's story of bravery on the battlefield and his return to civilian life is inspiring to us all," said David Byers, Chief Executive Officer of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. "We at CARSTAR are very proud to be represented in communities all over America by people like Jim and Donna West."
Copyright 2012 CollisionWeek (www.collisionweek.com) – reprinted by permission from the publisher