Cruisin' S&S Tire Inc. of Lexington, Ky., took 79 long-time customers and employees of S&S and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and their spouses on a five-day cruise to celebrate the success of BFS' TireStarz program.
The contingent boarded the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Ecstasy Feb. 7 in Miami and visited Key West, Fla., and Cozumel, Mexico, before returning to Miami on Feb. 11.
"We tried to keep the cruise as little business-oriented as possible," said Riley Kirn, S&S manager of dealer programming.
During the only scheduled business meeting on the cruise, Bill Pace, manager of the TireStarz program for BFS, updated the dealers on the new aspects of TireStarz and introduced some new Firestone products.
John Lampe, president of Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Sales Co., also spoke to the group.
Coincidentally, Mr. Lampe was on the same cruise accompanying a contingent from the Credit First credit card program for tire dealerships.
Mr. Kirn described the cruise as "wonderful" and noted that S&S picked up the tab for over half of the expense of the cruise and airfare for each passenger on the trip.
S&S was especially pleased to reward some of its long-time customers, he said.
California Tire, owned by the Heafner Tire Group, also treated 35 of its Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. associate dealers to an eight-day cruise on the Royal Caribbean Lines ship Voyager of the Sea.
The dealers—including 23 members of the TireStarz program—visited ports in Labadee, Haiti; Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Cozumel.
"It's always great when you have the opportunity to express appreciation to the people who have played a key part in the continued growth and success of our company and the Bridgestone/Firestone Associate Dealer Program," said California Tire President Ron Bennett.
Tire Kingdom Inc. of Riviera Beach, Fla., and Valvoline Co. joined forces with NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Mark Martin to benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida with a "Caring Hands Lube-a-thon" on Feb. 18-19.
Tire Kingdom and Valvoline each donated $3 to Florida's Big Brothers Big Sisters organization for every customer who had an oil change using Valvoline-brand oil at one of Tire Kingdom's 126 Florida locations.
A spokeswoman said Tire Kingdom did about 2,000 oil changes during the two-day event and will contribute $5,000 to Florida's Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Mr. Martin is sponsored by Valvoline and serves as a national spokesman for Valvoline's Caring Hands program, which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters programs nationwide. Mr. Martin hosted television and radio spots to promote the event.
Tire Warehouse Central Inc. of Keene, N.H., together with a local radio station and the Boston Bruins, have raised $13,870 since November for local charities.
The independent retailer, which operates 51 stores throughout New England, has sponsored the WAAF Real Rock Slap-Shot game during Bruins games at the FleetCenter in Boston.
Fans pay $5 for a chance to hit the fastest slap-shot and win prizes from radio station WAAF and Tire Warehouse Central.
The fundraiser will last until April. Proceeds go to charities such as the Cambridge Cares About AIDS organization, the Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the cerebral palsy organization of Massachusetts.
A Feb. 11 fire destroyed the Warren Tire Center as well as an auto body shop and carpet store in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Mich.
About 50 firefighters from Warren and several neighboring communities fought the blaze for three hours in the building shared by the three businesses before bringing it under control, said Warren Fire Department Deputy Chief Al Kane.
Mr. Kane said he believes the fire started in a van that was serviced at Warren Tire, but the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The 1920s-era building had a false ceiling and a wooden frame, he said, and that—combined with the tires, oil, carpeting and propane tanks at the body shop—created an intense fire that spread quickly.
None of the employees or customers was injured, Mr. Kane said, but one firefighter suffered a leg injury. About 20 residents of nearby houses and an apartment building were evacuated for a short time at the height of the fire.
Mr. Kane estimated the total damage at about $2 million.