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Press Releases

  • Joel Ayres Retires After Nearly a Decade as Executive Director of AACF

    Sacramento, Calif. – June 3, 2024 – After more than nine years of dedicated service as the first-ever appointed Executive Director of the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), Joel Ayres recently announced his retirement, effective April 30th , leaving behind an industry-wide legacy of innovation, expansion, and philanthropy.

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  • Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Announces Inaugural AACF humanitarian award sponsored by NEXUS North America

    Sacramento, Calif. – May 7th, 2024– The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), a 501c3 supporting people in the automotive aftermarket industry and their families during the hardest moments of their lives, is pleased to announce the first-ever AACF Humanitarian Award, generously sponsored by NEXUS North America. This prestigious award aims to recognize and honor outstanding individuals, companies, associations, or groups within the automotive aftermarket industry who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving the lives of others through humanitarian efforts.

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  • AACF Celebrates 65 Years Serving the Automotive Aftermarket

    Sacramento, Calif. – March 26, 2024-The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), a 501c3 supporting people in the automotive aftermarket industry and their families during the hardest moments of their lives, is thrilled to recognize 2024 as the year the organization celebrates its 65th anniversary, a testament to decades of heartfelt assistance to families within the automotive aftermarket sector. Originally established in 1959 as AFFTA, AACF owes its inception to the visionary spirit of Don Schlenger, a beloved figure in the automotive aftermarket industry.

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  • Hans Blatter Joins AACF Board of Trustees

    Sacramento, Calif. – February 20, 2024-The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), a 501c3 supporting people in the automotive aftermarket industry and their families during the hardest moments of their lives, today announced the election of Hans Blatter, President & Owner of, Castle® Products, Inc. to its board of trustees. Castle Products is a leading manufacturer of lubricants, additives, cleaners and degreasers. 

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  • Marc Blackman Joins AACF Board of Trustees

    Sacramento, Calif. – January 16th, 2024– The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), a 501c3 supporting people in the automotive aftermarket industry and their families during the hardest moments of their lives,  today announced the election of Marc Blackman,  CEO of Gold Eagle Company to its board of trustees.  Gold Eagle Company is the manufacturer of 303 Protectant, Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer, HEET, and other automotive, marine, and RV protection products.

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  • Jay Woodall Joins AACF Board of Trustees

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Jay Woodall to its board of trustees. Woodall is General Manager, National Accounts Retail/Branded at Interstate Batteries.

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  • AACF Prepares to Aid Aftermarket Idalia Victims

    As Hurricane Idalia continues its path of destruction towards the Florida coastline, the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has sprung into action, making preparations to aid automotive aftermarket families that may be impacted by the impending natural disaster.

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  • AACF Appoints Owens as President of Board of Trustees

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has appointed Jon Owens as the new President of its Board of Trustees. Owens, a National Sales Manager at Epicor Software Corporation, brings over two decades of experience with AACF and a deep commitment to supporting the automotive aftermarket. His dedication to assisting industry families within the aftermarket industry has earned him respect, positioning him to guide AACF to even greater success.

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  • Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Announces Walker Promotion

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the promotion of Misty Walker to Operations Manager.  Walker had served as AACF Executive Assistant to Joel Ayres, since 2015.

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  • Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Announces Two New Female Board Members

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is pleased to announce the addition of two new members, Jacki Lutz and Kathryn Reinhardt, to their Board of Trustees.  The newly-appointed trustees are eager to apply their wealth of industry knowledge, marketing experience and contacts combined with their intense desire to help those in need to their AACF board duties, in an effort to reach more beneficiaries and increase the AACF’s recognition across the vast automotive aftermarket landscape. 

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  • Wes Wise Joins AACF Board of Trustees

     The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Wes Wise to its board of trustees.  Wise is Vice President, Professional Sales for O’Reilley Auto Parts. 

     

    Wes joined O’Reilly in 1991 as a Merchandising Specialist at store 4039-Springfield, MO. He held many different management positions within the organization and after completing his Masters Degree he relocated to Corporate headquarters and was promoted to his present position in January 2022.

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  • Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation’s Annual Golf Tournament a Success

    The Bob Schoeberl Memorial Golf Tournament, held recently during the SEMA and AAPEX industry week in Las Vegas, was a stunning testimony to work of the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation’s (AACF) Board of Directors, AACF staff and volunteers, and the large number of industry leaders who supported this annual event. It attracted 160 golfers and more than $600,000 was raised to help individuals and families in the automotive aftermarket in need.

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  • AACF PREPARES TO AID AFTERMARKET HURRICANE IAN VICTIMS

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is making preparations to aid aftermarket families affected by Hurricane Ian.


    “It is very early in the process, but our intention is to explore every avenue to identify aftermarket families that need our help during this natural disaster,” said AACF President, Larry Magee.
    “Although AACF doesn’t claim to be a disaster relief service, we will do our best to identify and assist those industry families that have immediate and unmet needs in keeping with our mission to support aftermarket families facing catastrophic circumstances,” said Joel Ayres, Executive Director of AACF.

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  • AACF Celebrates 30th Anniversary Charity Golf Tournament

    The annual AACF Bob Schoeberl Memorial Golf Tournament will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and returning to the beautiful Spanish Trail Country Club during AAPEX/SEMA Industry week in Las Vegas.

    AACF Golf Committee Chairman, Jeff Helfrich stated “we’ll have many of the same events that folks have come to enjoy. Our Sunday night cocktail reception has become a ‘Who’s Who of the Automotive Aftermarket’ and it’s exciting in today’s environment to be able to network face-to-face again.

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  • AACF FOUNDER PASSES AWAY

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the passing of Don Schlenger, the co-founder of the AACF and Chairman Emeritus. Don passed peacefully at his home in Palm Beach, Florida on May, 15, 2022. Although retired, Don stayed involved with the foundation right up until his 101st birthday on May 9th of this year.

    “Don was the heart and soul of the Foundation,” said Larry Magee, president of AACF. “He continued to check in by phone at our board meetings and with individuals on the board even after he was not able to travel.”

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  • MIKE SPAGNOLA JOINS AACF BOARD OF TRUSTEES

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Mike Spagnola to its board of trustees. Spagnola is vice president of OEM & Product Development Programs at SEMA and oversees the SEMA Garage Product Development Center as well as the SEMA Data. Beginning February 1, 2022 he will be adding to his role; he will serve as co-CEO for the Association and will oversee the Government Affairs, SEMA Data, Human Resources and Accounting departments until a new CEO is hired for the Association.

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  • YANG TOP GOLF EVENT HUGE SUCCESS

    Having fun AND raising funds and awareness for an important charitable cause is the definition of a true win/win! And that’s exactly what was accomplished recently as YANG (the Young AutoCare Network Group) sponsored a night of golfing fun at various Top Golf® locations around the country.

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  • AACF OFFERS SUPPORT TO NATURAL DISASTER VICTIMS

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is offering aid to aftermarket families affected by the recent natural disasters.

    “Although AACF doesn’t claim to be a disaster relief service, we will do our best to identify and assist those industry families that have immediate and unmet needs in keeping with our mission to support aftermarket families facing catastrophic circumstances,” said Joel Ayres, Executive Director of AACF.

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  • NEW BOARD STRUCTURE ENHANCES WAYS TO HELP

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced a new Board structure designed to expand the Foundation’s reach to additional markets and under served aftermarket segments. Effective immediately the Board will consist of 30 members. Additionally, AACF announces the appointment of two (2) Vice Presidents to serve on the realigned Executive Committee, Luanne Brown – President and CEO of eTool Developers, and Jon Owens – National Sales Manager for Epicor Software.

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  • PETER MACGILLIVRAY JOINS AACF BOARD OF TRUSTEES

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Peter MacGillivray to its board of trustees. MacGillivray is Vice President of Motorsports Events for Bonnier Corporation.

    “Peter has many years of experience and is well connected in the automotive aftermarket,” said Larry Magee, president of AACF. “He is passionate about helping people, and will bring another strong voice to our growing board of directors. AACF is very fortunate to have Peter contributing his time and talent to the growth of the Foundation.”

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  • THOMAS AND KAIRYS ELECTED TO AACF BOARD

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Teri Thomas and John Kairys to its Board of Trustees.  Thomas is a National Account Manager with Interstate Batteries, National Accounts since 2017 and has over 20 years’ experience in marketing in several different industries.  Kairys is Vice-President, Parts and Service Group for TBC Corporation and has spent 37 years in the Automotive Aftermarket with names like Cooper Tires, Big O Tires, NTW Tires, and Pirelli Tire.

    “I am extremely honored and excited that John and Teri have agreed to join the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Larry Magee, President of AACF.  Magee went on to say, “they both have extensive Automotive Aftermarket experience and a tremendous passion to support the Foundation achieve its goal of helping people within our industry who have fallen on hard times.”

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  • LARRY MAGEE ELECTED NEW BOARD PRESIDENT

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the retirement of Lynn Parker and the selection of Larry Magee as President of the Board of Trustees. Magee has been involved with the Foundation for over 25 years, and currently serves on the Foundation’s Executive Committee, Recipient Review Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Golf Committee.

    Parker served on the AACF Board for over 20 years and as AACF Board President the last 3 years.  “Lynn has been a dedicated and passionate volunteer and will be truly missed; we wish him the best in his new adventures,” said Joel Ayres, Executive Director of AACF.”

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  • FIRST ANNUAL TOPGOLF FUNDRAISER WINNERS ANNOUNCED

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation announced today that the Inaugural AACF Top Contender National Championship was a big success. Teams of 6 enjoyed competing at Topgolf locations from coast to coast. “This was a fun solution to raise money for industry families, due to our Annual Charity Golf Tournament being postponed”, said Executive Director, Joel Ayres, “We saw an opportunity to try a new event, and it was a big hit!”

    The Foundation is happy to announce TR Wholesale Solutions team, who played in Indianapolis, IN are the AACF Top Contender Champion winners. First runner up goes to Federated Auto Parts team who played in Richmond, VA; and Second runner up awarded to Interstate Batteries team from Columbus, OH. Each player of the winning teams will be awarded beautiful crystal trophies, and Amazon gift cards, sponsored by Truck Hero.

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  • AASA TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE “VIRTUAL” FUNDRAISING

     As the AASA Technology Conference (ATC) concluded their virtual conference last week, the traditional banquet-closing ‘Loonie-Toonie’ game took place online to record-setting success!  Reminding everyone, once again that, while times may be tough, aftermarket spirits and hearts remain generous when it comes to helping aftermarket colleagues in need of financial assistance.

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) was the beneficiary of a $4,175 gift from participants in the ATC last week thanks to some creative thinking by ATC organizers and ‘Loonie-Toonie’ game sponsors, Pricedex Software. 

    The ‘Loonie-Toonie’ game, which had been introduced to the ATC conference a number of years ago by AACF Executive Committee Member Terry O’Reilly, from Pricedex Software Inc., was conducted virtually for the first time ever.

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  • AACF ANNOUNCES NATIONAL TOPGOLF TOURNAMENT

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced today AACF’s 1st ever Top Contender National Championship.

    AACF President, Lynn Parker said, “Everyone is aware by now that SEMA & AAPEX cancelled their annual shows in Las Vegas, and as a result we had to cancel AACF’s largest annual fundraising event at Spanish Trail Country Club. While this is the right thing to do, the board kept looking for ways to safely connect as an industry family, increase awareness for AACF, and raise funds to assist those in need.” Parker went on to say, “Today we are excited to announce AACF’s 1st ever Top Contender National Championship – an integrated tournament that allows teams to compete with each other “real-time” in 60 different Topgolf locations throughout North America.”

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  • AACF PREPARES TO AID AFTERMARKET NATURAL DISASTER VICTIMS

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is making preparations to aid aftermarket families affected by hurricane Laura and the California fires.

    “It is very early in the process, but our intention is to explore every avenue to identify aftermarket families that will need our help recovering from these natural disasters happening during a Pandemic already causing untold hardship and stress for so many,” said AACF President, Lynn Parker.

    “Although AACF doesn’t claim to be a disaster relief service, we will do our best to identify and assist those industry families that have immediate and unmet needs in keeping with our mission to support aftermarket families facing catastrophic circumstances,” said Joel Ayres, Executive Director of AACF.

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  • PARTS AUTHORITY AND YANG LEND HELPING HAND

    Two significant auto aftermarket entities have recently stepped up to help the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) in different and unique ways.  

    Leading aftermarket parts distributor/retailer Parts Authority, seeking to embrace and enhance the “Stay Positive” theme initiated by their President Randy Buller as the COVID19 quarantines began, put together a battery sales promotion as a way to support AACF.  Through AACF Board member Mike Peace, the Foundation connected with Parts Authority VP of Marketing Jacqueline Rodriguez to implement the “Stay Positive” promotion.  During the months of May and June, for every battery sold by a Parts Authority location, $1.00 would be donated to AACF.  This is a great example of how parts sellers can work with their suppliers to drive sales to their customers while at the same time give back to the industry.  For more information on this fantastic effort go to AACFi.org/StayPostive.

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  • AACF APPOINTS NEW BOARD TRUSTEE MIKE DEVER

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Mike Dever to its board of trustees. Dever is with the General Parts Company and General Manager for NAPA major accounts.

    “Mike has been in the automotive aftermarket for 30 years and is well known in the industry,” said Lynn Parker, President of AACF. “He is very creative and will bring new fresh ideas helping create more awareness for the Foundation. Mike is a compassionate person bringing added strength to our already strong board of directors.”

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  • LARRY MAGEE SELECTED AS VICE PRESIDENT

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the selection of Larry Magee as Vice President of the Board of Trustees. Magee has been involved with the Foundation for over 25 years, and currently serves on the Foundation’s Executive Committee, Recipient Review Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Golf Committee.

    “Larry has 4 decades of senior executive experience in the Automotive Aftermarket,” said Joel Ayres, Executive Director of AACF. “He is very passionate about helping our industry families in need through the Foundation. AACF is fortunate that Larry will be stepping into this leadership position.”

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  • TODD SANDERS JOINS AACF BOARD OF TRUSTEES

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the election of Todd Sanders to its board of trustees. Sanders is the Senior Vice President of Professional Sales for the Advance enterprise brands.

    “Todd has many years of experience and is well connected in the automotive aftermarket,” said Lynn Parker, president of AACF. “He is passionate about helping people, and will bring another strong voice to our growing board of directors. AACF is very fortunate that Todd will be contributing his time and talent to the growth of the Foundation.”

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  • SHANNON MCWILLIAMS APPOINTED TO AACF BOARD

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the appointment of Shannon McWilliams to its Board of Trustees. McWilliams is Vice President of Sales for Interstate Batteries®.

    AACF Executive Director Joel Ayres said, “Shannon’s experience in sales and marketing will be of great value to the Board of Trustees. “Soon, he will step into the role of chair of the AACF marketing committee, and we eager to share the new ideas and energy he will bring to that committee."

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  • PAUL MCCARTHY JOINS AACF BOARD OF TRUSTEES

    The AACF Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Paul McCarthy to its’ Board of Trustees. Board President, Lynn Parker said, “Paul brings a wealth of knowledge to the AACF. He has a wide range of expertise in team and business leadership, sustainable manufacturing, aftermarket analysis just to name a few and will bring assets that will complement our already strong board of directors. Paul is very compassionate in helping associates employed in the aftermarket who have built our industry to the levels of success it is today. We are very excited to have Paul on our team”.

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  • DAVID YOUNG JOINS AACF BOARD OF TRUSTEES

    Lynn Parker, President of AACF, announced today the appointment of David Young to its’ Board of Trustees “I have known David for many years and he has a tremendous amount of experience in the automotive aftermarket. David is very knowledgeable of the installer service segment of our industry which means that David understands how important service is to the aftermarket. David will bring a high level of service to the AACF which will equate in helping us find ways to help more people employed in our industry who have fallen on hard times and have nowhere else to turn. David will be a great asset to our board”, Parker said.

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  • MIKE PEACE APPOINTED AACF BOARD TRUSTEE

    Mr. Lynn Parker, President of the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF), is pleased to announce the election of Mike Peace to its Board of Trustees. Mr. Peace is Vice President, National Accounts and Business Development, for the National Pronto Association, a $1.4 Billion member-owned Program Distribution Group. National Pronto is a long-time supporter of the AACF.

    “On behalf of the entire Board, I am delighted to welcome Mike to the Board of the Foundation. Mike is both a highly successful executive and a caring person, and this combination will surely further strengthen our Board and support the Foundation’s important role in our industry” Parker said.

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  • AACF APPLICATIONS INCREASE 90 PERCENT IN WAKE OF WILDFIRES

    Sacramento, Calif. – December 5, 2018 – In November, applications for Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) aid increased 90 percent in the wake of the unprecedented wildfires in California.

    "AACF is working hard to get checks mailed to qualified applicants within three days," said executive director, Joel Ayres. "In addition to heart breaking applications from fire victims, we're also aiding those affected by recent hurricanes."

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  • AACF TO AUCTION CUSTOM 2018 NISSAN KICKS SV

    Nissan USA, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Roadwire and BringaTrailer.com Team up for Charity

    Sacramento, Calif. – October 17, 2018 – The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the official launch of a charitable auction of a customized 2018 Nissan Kicks via http://bit.ly/AACF-Nissan-Auction, and bidding is officially open. 


    Thanks to generous donations and ongoing support from Nissan USA, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and BringaTrailer.com, all proceeds from the auction will benefit aftermarket nonprofit AACF.

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  • AACF RESPONDS IN WAKE OF HURRICANE FLORENCE

    Aftermarket Rallies to Help Those in Need
    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has launched phase one of urgent response to aftermarket families affected by hurricane Florence.

    The New York Times reported that the storm has never been more dangerous.

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  • AACF GRIEVES LOSS OF FOUNDING MEMBER JOE MITTLEMAN

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) today announced the passing of founding member, Joe Mittleman.

    Past CEO of The Mittleman Group for more than 50 years, and former chairman of the Auto Parts & Accessories Association, Joe Mittleman co-founded the organization now recognized as AACF, and has been actively involved in board and committee leadership since its inception.
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  • AACF EXPEDITES HELP FOR CALIFORNIA AFTERMARKET FIRE VICTIMS

    The L.A. Times reported that there are 17 wildfires burning in California, including one of the deadliest fires in the history of the state with more than 12,300 firefighters on the lines and more than 280,000 acres burned.
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  • AACF ANNOUNCES NEW TOURNAMENT VENUE FOR ANNUAL BENEFIT

    Scheduled Monday October 29, the 2018 AACF Bob Schoeberl Memorial Golf Tournament will be hosted by a new venue this year – the legendary Spanish Trail Country Club of Las Vegas.

    Early registration is now open for the coveted AACF Foursome – spots sell out each year, so visit http://bit.ly/AACF-Vegas-Golf to secure your spots today.
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  • AACF LAUNCHES EBAY FOR CHARITY PROGRAM

    It’s easier than ever to support aftermarket families in need with the new AACF eBay for Charity program.

    Are you already selling items you no longer need or want on eBay? Now you can select AACF as one of your favorite eBay Charities, and donate automatically when you sell any item. 100% of your donation goes to AACF.
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  • AACF LAUNCHES AACF CHAMPION DONOR PROGRAM

    Six AACF Champions Recognized Including SEMA Hall of Fame Member
    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has launched an elite donor partner program called the AACF Champion program.

    “AACF Champions are generous, big-hearted aftermarket brands and individuals that have committed to supporting aftermarket families with a donation of $25,000 or more,” said Joel Ayres, executive director. “And, we simply can’t thank
    them enough.”
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  • AACF ANNOUNCES NEW AWARENESS PARTNERS

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) welcomes six aftermarket industry companies to its national Awareness Partner network.

    4 Wheel Parts, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Eckler's Industries, Mighty Auto Parts, Race Winning Brands (RWB), and XL Parts are the newest members of a growing national community of more than 50 AACF Awareness Partners.
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  • AACF WELCOMES LYNN PARKER AS BOARD PRESIDENT, Chuck Rogers Named as New Board Trustee

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) welcomes Lynn Parker as president of its board of directors following Bob Hirsch who has served as board president for the past 10 years.

    Charles (Chuck) Rogers joins the board as a newly elected trustee. Rogers is the Vice President of Professional Sales for O’Reilly Auto Parts and has actively supported AACF events for nearly 15 years. In his new role, Rogers will assist the organization in reviewing applications for assistance.
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  • AACF APPLICATIONS ARE UP 78 PERCENT SINCE HURRICANE HARVEY

    Aftermarket Families Express Thanks
    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has entered phase two of urgent response to aftermarket families affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, deadly wildfires, and looming tropical storm Ophelia.

    “Thanks to the generous response of our industry we've raised a significant amount toward our goal, and we’re so thankful for that,” said Joel Ayres, Executive Director of AACF. “But, we continue to ask for industry support. Many have lost homes, businesses, vehicles, belongings, and in some cases, loved ones including family pets. Now more than ever, every donation counts and is truly making a difference.”
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  • AACF HELPS AFTERMARKET VICTIMS OF HISTORIC HURRICANES

    Aftermarket Companies Generously Respond with Help
    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is taking immediate action to expand urgent storm response efforts for aftermarket families in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

    “We owe sincere thanks to many organizations that have contributed generously to our mission including SEMA, Auto Care Association, MEMA, National Pronto, XL Parts, and Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group),” Ayres continued.
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  • AACF PREPARES TO AID AFTERMARKET HARVEY VICTIMS

    The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is making preparations to aid aftermarket families affected by hurricane Harvey.

    “It is very early in the process, but our intention is to explore every avenue to identify aftermarket families that need our help during this unprecedented natural disaster,” said AACF President, Bob Hirsch.
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