At the 2011 SEMA Show, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) collected over $3,200 for Operation Comfort’s Automotivation initiative through "passing the helmet" to collect donations and a silent auction.
Operation Comfort, located in San Antonio, Texas, provides support to U.S. service members who have been wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq and are receiving treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). As a form of occupational therapy and career replacement, Operation Comfort runs a program entitled Automotivation where wounded service members rehabilitate through automotive-related activities such as rebuilding and restoring cars, trucks, and motorcycles on a ranch outside of San Antonio. Two vehicles the soldiers worked on as part of the Automotivation program, a 1957 Dodge Power Wagon used by the Army as a weapons carrier and a 1966 Cobra kit car, were on display at the SEMA Show.
"Operation Comfort provides a great place to work with lots of space and tools I wouldn’t otherwise have access to, like a lift, power tools and a compressor," said Sergeant Robert Dickey, an Automotivation participant who was at the SEMA Show. "It’s an opportunity to get out and do something I enjoyed doing before I got injured, plus it gives me the opportunity to consider doing something that I love for a living. I’m very thankful for that."
Visitors to the SCRS booth on the SEMA Show floor couldn’t help but notice the upturned military helmets stuffed full of bills of various denominations; donations from visitors wishing to give back to those who are there to defend our country. The helmets were also passed at Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and were visible in the hands of volunteers standing at the exit doors after the stirring Repairer Driven Education (RDE) Flawless Execution keynote by Afterburner Inc.’s Patrick "Lips" Houlahan. In addition, as part of a special tie-in with Afterburner’s military aviation inspired headline presentation, SCRS held a silent auction throughout the week at their booth for a set of three "Flawless Execution One-on-One" DVDs produced by Afterburner.