I still shake my head in disbelief when I think about the positive impact that one tire dealer has had in his community.
Last year, I had the privilege of chronicling the story of Kent Olson of Olson Tire Pros & Automotive Service in Wausau, Wis.
Among a host of other charitable endeavors, Mr. Olson helps oversee the Wheels to Work program, in which less fortunate residents of his area can apply to buy a vehicle — at a significantly reduced rate, with a no-interest loan — as long as they need the vehicle to get to work or to seek employment.
As part of the purchase, clients must agree to attend classes that can help keep their lives going on the right track.
I'll never forget how one of the clients sat across from me as I interviewed her, tears streaming down her face, explaining how important this program had been to helping her regain control of her life.
It was for his work on that program, as well as his commitment to educating the youth of his area, that Mr. Olson was named last year's Tire Dealer Humanitarian of the Year.
If you know of another Mr. Olson — an independent tire dealer or retreader who is making significant contributions to the betterment of his or her community through charitable acts or public service work — be sure to nominate him or her for this prestigious award.
A nomination form can be found at tirebusiness.com. As you assemble your nomination packet, be sure to include supporting materials, such as newspaper clippings, support letters and other information, to help our independent judges understand the humanitarian contributions of your nominee.