Making a Difference
December 13, 20237 minute Read
Each year, car wash organizations contribute countless hours and dollars to the communities they serve. We want to make sure we’re capturing those stories and highlighting that impact, so in every issue of CAR WASH Magazine we’ll be shedding light on some of these good deeds.
Share Your Good Deeds
Let us know what causes are important to you and how you are making a difference in your community in 2023. We’ll feature submissions in CAR WASH Magazine and during The Car Wash Show, when the ICA Community Impact Award winner is spotlighted in the CAR WASH Magazine Live Studio at www.carwash.org/community.
ClearWater Car Wash
Less than a year after opening and ClearWater CarWash in St. Albert, Alberta, is already making it known that not only are clean cars important to them, but the local community is as well. Which is one of the reasons ClearWater sponsored the St. Albert Soap Box Derby Race, June 16-17.
“ClearWater staff are passionate about having fun at work and supporting the local community,” said Travis Braithwaite, COO at ClearWater. Both were accomplished with their soap box sponsorship. “All of the soap box race kart materials were paid for by ClearWater CarWash, plus ClearWater built and entered its own kart that staff family members used to compete in all three age categories.” Over 50 karts were at the event, with 132 racers ages 6-14.
Braithwaite said it was a really enjoyable and bonding experience for the staff and their families, whether they were drivers, kart builders or part of the fan club on the sidelines cheering on the racers as they barreled down the hill at top speeds around 24 mph.
But ClearWater knows all about speed. After just six months of being open, they were washing over 700 cars per day and had 2,800 club memberships.
“We just opened ClearWater CarWash on Sept. 1, 2022, and have been super focused on growing the business and solidifying our spot and our name in the community. Plus, getting to know our community is really important to us,” Braithwaite said. “Our vision is to be a pillar in the community where employees grow and customers know us for exceptional service and involvement in the community.”
ClearWater donated a total of $5,000 to the Derby and staff spent about 20 hours to build, test and paint the ClearWater kart.
In addition, ClearWater regularly supports the local community through participation in other events, such Chamber of Commerce activities, Rain Maker Rodeo week and Halloween fundraisers.
El Car Wash
El Car Wash made its largest donation, to date — $50,000 — in support of Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute, specifically for pediatric cancer research. The funds were raised through the launch of the El Car Wash Baptist Health Membership, where the company donated $1 for every month customers remained a member.
“Our entire ecosystem, from our customers to our management team, is comprised of South Florida locals, and giving back to the communities where our constituents reside is a responsibility that we take seriously. El Car Wash’s core principles include a family-oriented culture and always doing the right thing, so making impactful donations to causes that benefit our community is something we have done historically and intend to accelerate in the future,” said Justin Landau and Geoff Karas, co-CEOs of El Car Wash, which is based in Miami and has 26 locations and 25+ more under development.
Other groups El Car Wash has supported over the past few years include the Zoo Miami Foundation, The Love Fund, Live Like Bella, as well as free washes to all pandemic first responders and essential workers through its free wash programs, and complimentary car wash programs for the police force, firefighters and teachers. “We understand that the importance of charitable partnerships is not just good for business, it’s good business,” said Carly Klein, El Car Wash director of marketing.
For 2023, El Car Wash is shooting for an even larger number for their El Car Wash Baptist Health Membership fundraiser: $100,000.
Mike’s Carwash raised more than $87,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters through its 14th annual “Get a Wash, Give a Future” fundraiser. The event was May 20 at all 38 Mike’s Carwash locations in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Mike’s donated half the proceeds from every Ultimate+Ceramic and Ultimate wash sold to youth mentoring programs across seven local chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Plus, volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters, along with their “littles” were on hand to thank customers and collect cash donations.
“It’s difficult to put into words how grateful we are to our incredible customers for supporting this year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters event,” said Joe Dahm, president of Mike’s Carwash, which was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Loveland, Ohio. “Get a Wash, Give a Future has always been a special event for everyone at Mike’s Carwash. And, as usual, our customers responded with a truly special outpouring of love and support for a wonderful organization.”
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been empowering children to succeed through mentorship programs. According to national research, Little Brothers and Sisters are 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol and 52% less likely to skip school.
Tagg-N-Go Car Wash
At Tagg-N-Go Car Wash, fundraisers and giving back to the community aren’t reserved for special occasions. It is a part of what they do every day.
“Meeting recipients, hearing their stories and making connections with members of our community is what drives us every day,” said Amanda Williams, Tagg-N-Go Car Wash’s director of marketing. “One of our company’s core values is to be engaged with the communities we serve.”
They do have some bigger fundraisers each year, such as Scare Wash. But it is the little things —the daily acts of participation and giving — that really make Tagg-N-Go shine. “That’s really where our managers thrive and get to feel that true ownership over their site and in their communities,” Williams said. “It’s not as shiny as a big check, but it’s the small things that add up and help us continuously build relationships and support our local communities.”
They also sponsor local PTA organizations and school sports, donate free car washes for charity raffles and participate in community events like parades and festivals. “Car washing is the catalyst that drives us to be better teams, be more involved, more understanding, and focus on the little things that make our communities so great,” Williams said.
In 2023, some of the local community events and causes they have participated in and partnered with include:
● Day-at-the-Wash Fundraiser for the Hayden Barker family (Feb. 9)
● Volunteered at the Utah Food Bank Distribution Center (Feb. 15)
● Helped Jason propose to Jamie at the car wash in St. George (March 2)
● Hosted a Girl Scout Troop’s Cookie Booth (March 24)
● Day-at-the-Wash Fundraiser for a local cancer warrior in Eagle Mountain (April 25)
● Community Booth at Santa Clara Night Shopping Event (April 28)
● Community Booth at Washington City Cotton Days Event (April 29)
● Offered free washes for Teacher Appreciation (May 11)
● Volunteered at Pony Express Rodeo (June 3, 8, 9, 10)
● Community Booth at Washington Rotary Charity Golf Tournament (June 5)
● Participated in three local Independence Day parades (July 4)
● Community Booth at July Jamboree Festival and Car Show in Cedar City (July 8)
● Community Booth at Family Night Event and Car Show in Eagle Mountain (July 15)
Splash2o Express Car Wash
Being involved in their local community is an integral part of the mission and core values at Splash2o. “We partner with several charities and organizations within the Hampton Roads community. We literally built the dedication we have to our community into our Hilltop location with the word ‘Gratitude’ on the wall of our building,” said Director of Operations Elizabeth Tilbury. “We are always grateful for the opportunity to serve the community that trusts us with their car washing needs.”
One way they show this gratitude is through the Senior Chief Scott DeCoste Memorial Scholarship. DeCoste served in the U.S. Navy from 1984 until retiring in 2007. He died in 2015 after an eight-week battle with service-connected cancer. His wife Lisa started the scholarship in 2016 as a way of keeping his memory alive by helping others.
“We have partnered with Lisa for the past two years, raising $7,560 so far,” Tilbury said. Splash2o’s month-long fundraiser is held every November as that is Military Family Appreciation month.
“We are fortunate to have a huge military presence in Virginia Beach and, in 2021, through the Navy contacts within our community, we flew a flag in memory of Scott on his last ship: the USS Mesa Verde,” Tilbury said. “We presented Lisa with the flag and certificate as a gesture to show Splash2o’s appreciation for Scott’s service to our country and Lisa’s commitment to the scholarship she created in his honor.”