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The Aftermarket Foundation is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of assisting those in need in the automotive aftermarket industry at this year’s AAPEX, AAIW and SEMA Conventions on Nov. 3.
Founded in 1959 as an outgrowth of the Quarter Century Club as a social industry club after World War II, the prime movers in forming this charitable organization were aftermarket pioneers Moe Strauss and Charlie Unger from Pep Boys, Charles Weissman from American Auto, Arthur Taubman from Advance Auto, and Ray Jesselson, a manufacturer’s representative. The club was named the Ray Jesselson Benevolent Foundation, and over the years changed its name to the Automotive Foundations for the Aftermarket (AFFTA) and finally, the Aftermarket Foundation.
Over the first 15 to 20 years, funds raised were distributed as needed to those in the industry with nowhere left to turn. In the late 1970s, Don Schlenger took over and revitalized the foundation, bringing on active trustees and seeking the assistance of industry companies and organization to both raise awareness and funding. Now in its 50th year, the Aftermarket Foundation is the only industry charity whose sole dedication is to help those in the industry in need of assistance.
As part of the Aftermarket Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, the foundation is launching a new, comprehensive Web site at www.aftermarketfoundation.org and will have a booth at the conventions for attendees to learn more about what the foundation does as the “Heart of the Aftermarket.”
Mail donations to the Aftermarket Foundation to: The Aftermarket Foundation, P.O. Box 864520, Orlando, FL 32886-4520