The Collision Repair Education Foundation recently announced the establishment of a memorial scholarship through the Foundation in the name of Thomas Coleman that will benefit Southern California-area collision school programs and students. Tom, who passed away this past November at the age of 47, was the co-founder, co-owner, and operator of LC Automotive Group, a six-center collision repair business located in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. LC Automotive will be contributing $5,000 quarterly to this fund and collision industry members are invited to participate as well.
Tom was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in April 2013 and, leading up to his passing, was very active in raising funds for research targeting neurodegenerative diseases. Tom’s support of the University of Michigan’s Program for Neurology Research & Discovery stem cell research initiative included his undergoing an experimental 7-hour operation in September 2013, in which 2 million stem cells were implanted directly into this spine. While Tom did not personally benefit from this surgery, his willingness to undergo this intrusive operation has contributed to the effort of finding an effective means of treating, and ultimately curing, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Tom’s entire adult life was spent in the collision industry, starting as a technician helper in Orange County and holding other positions like parts and production manager, estimator and center manager. He also managed California operations for Caliber Collision in the early 2000s. “Tom was a great person, family man, friend and business partner,” said Bill Lawrence, LC Auto co-founder. “His contributions to LC Auto were significant, but Tom’s more important contribution was his involvement in ALS research, to which he dedicated his time, body and intellect. We are proud to support CREF and Southern California collision school programs on behalf of Tom and the collision repair inter-industry, which actively supported Tom and his fight against ALS.”
Industry members interested in supporting this memorial scholarship fund cam contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at (847) 463-5245 or [email protected].