Recycled Rides Event

     A deserving local US ARMY National Guard Veteran that served in Afghanistan in 2010-2011 experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of a vehicle to provide him the ability to get to appointments at the VA, transportation to service dog training, and independence for employment opportunities.  Thanks to GST BOCES and car donor GEICO, along with the National Auto Body Council™ Recycled Rides® program. The presentation will took place on Thursday, November 9 at 10 a.m. at the GST BOCES Coopers Campus (9579 Vocational Drive, Painted Post). The recipient was selected by WNY Heroes.

     As stated on NABC website, “NABC® members are in a unique position to change and save lives by teaming up with collision industry colleagues to refurbish and donate vehicles to individuals and service organizations in need. This collaboration of businesses representing all facets of the collision industry – insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others – has resulted in more than 3,000 vehicles valued at $42 million donated in local communities across the country. The average value of gifted vehicles is $18,000.”

     The Collision Repair and Refinishing and Automotive Technology classes at the GST BOCES Coopers campus worked together to repair the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe donated by GEICO. Several local businesses contributed to the project, including NABC (National Auto Body Council), WNY Heroes, Simmons Rockwell, Empire Auto Parts, Liquidz Autobody Supply, Dunning Auto Parts (NAPA), Firestone, Dent Ninja, and BFTP.

     David Paolini was in Logistics in the Army National Guard from 2008-2016. He was activated in 2012 to assist in the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy near Rockaway Beach. From 2013-2018 he enrolled in college (thru the GI BILL) was on the Dean's List and achieved an Associates Degree in General Studies. 

     While in College he met another veteran and informed him of Recreational sports that are offered thru the VA and he now enjoys sled hockey, a whole team that's mostly composed of all disabled veterans. He has played for five years and has received five Bronze and one Silver Medal from different tournaments. 

     In 2021, he joined a new sport called Wheelchair Football, placing third in a tournament last year and fourth place this year. 

     During the pandemic, he enrolled in a veteran dog training program called PTSDOGS4Vets/Musketeer Canine LLC. He has been with Tetley for more than two years with many more years to come. 

     In October 2022, he purchased his first home and with this generous gift of a vehicle, he can actively apply for NY state jobs. 

    Thank you to each individual who played a part in giving back to a deserving veteran. David, thank you for your service.