Fundraising Auction Redux:
Specially Modified Jeep on the Block – Again – to Benefit the Austin Hatcher Foundation
HURST Jeepster Commando to be Auctioned at Leake Auto Auction in Tulsa
Originally Generated $150,000 at Dallas Auction
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 3, 2019) – The HURST Jeepster Commando is the gift that keeps on giving for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
Last year, the specially modified Jeep was auctioned at the Leake Auto Auction in Dallas, with more than $150,000 being donated to the foundation as a result. The Dallas buyer then donated the vehicle back to the foundation, in the hope it could raise even more funds to support the foundation’s mission of erasing the effects of pediatric cancer. Next up: the Leake Auto Auction in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 5-9. The vehicle will go across the block Saturday, June 8 at 2 p.m. CST. The lot number is 9001.
The Jeep was originally donated to the foundation by Mtn. View Auto Group in Chattanooga, longtime supporters of the foundation. It then was extensively modified, with young cancer patients and their family members doing much of the works, The project benefited from other valuable support; Truck ‘N Trailers USA in Chattanooga hosted regular build-out sessions while all parts were donated by Rugged Ridge/Omix-ADA, the world’s largest independent manufacturer and wholesale-only company with a full line of Jeep parts and accessories. When the build was complete, the Jeep was displayed at several Jeep enthusiast events before being showcased at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas last November.
On to the Leake Auto Auction in Dallas, where the Jeep sold for $75,000. The anonymous buyer immediately “re-donated” the ride – and it sold again for another $50,000. On top of that, Austin Hatcher Foundation Senior Vice President of Major Gifts, Gary Bennett, donated another $5,000 whereupon four more individuals followed suit.
Now it’s been donated once again by another anonymous buyer.
All proceeds from these recurring auctions benefit the foundation’s various programs and services that are available to patients and family members at no cost, at the foundation’s Education Advancement Center (EAC) in downtown Chattanooga.
“Despite the obvious fundraising results, what’s most important about this project is people knowing the Jeep was modified by pediatric cancer patients, survivors, their siblings and their family members as part of therapy to improve certain deficits experienced during and after cancer treatment,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn.
Those impromptu mechanics tackled this challenging project within the foundation’s Industrial Arts Therapy program operating at the EAC. When they were done, they could take pride in helping create a HURST Jeepster Commando that is truly “adventure ready.”
“The benefits of Industrial Arts Therapy include aiding recovery after cancer treatment,” Osborn said, “but this program also helps our young cancer patients develop practical life skills such as car maintenance and repair while building hand-eye coordination and dexterity. A side benefit is it can help create interest in STEM-related careers.”
The HURST Jeepster Commando build project is only the latest in a series of similar, innovative approaches to fundraising by the Austin Hatcher Foundation. Several other vehicles have been modified in recent years with considerable help via donations of time, materials and expertise.
“Every time we take on a build project, we are fortunate to get the assistance needed to bring the project to fruition,” Osborn said. “By involving young cancer patients in a hands-on manner, we took this concept to a whole new level. It’s been a wonderful experience for all of us.”