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Tough Country principals and brothers Brent and Kurt Pratka travelled about 20 minutes north to Wharton, Texas to help people t

Aftermarket Companies Extending Helping Hand to Flood Victims

Anthony Bowe is the digital content editor of THE SHOP magazine.

*See additional images from Tough Country on the front line of rescue efforts in the gallery below

An El Campo, Texas-based truck and off-road accessories company aided in rescue efforts in southeast Texas on Wednesday and Thursday. Tough Country principals and brothers Brent and Kurt Pratka travelled about 20 minutes north to help people trapped by extremely flooded areas caused by Hurricane Harvey.

“Wharton, Texas is having a huge flood, so Brent and Kurt have been up there assisting since yesterday (Aug. 30), when the river started coming over the bank,” Tony Brooks, general manager of Tough Country, told THE SHOP magazine.

The Pratkas saved a number of people, and even some dogs and a horse. The Tough Country rescue team connected with the 3P Offroad rescue team on Thursday.

Tough Country on Thursday also partnered with two local companies—Novaks Meat Market and Praseks Smokehouse—to feed 70-100 at a local relief shelter.

Brooks said that Tough Country is in the process of providing additional aid to help flood victims in southeast Texas.

Big Donation

The Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group) has made a $20,000 donation to the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) to help aftermarket members impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

“After seeing news reports here in Texas and hearing accounts of the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, we knew we had to take action to help our fellow industry members,” said Bill Maggs, CEO of National Pronto Association. “Our donation to the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation will help individuals that need it most and we encourage others in the industry to do what they can to assist AACF in their noble efforts.”

The AACF assists individuals and families of the automotive aftermarket in times of great need. The AACF is the only charity of its kind that focuses only on persons and their families employed in the automotive aftermarket.

“During tough times like these, we all need to extend a hand and support each other,” said Rusty Bishop, CEO of Federated Auto Parts. “Making a donation to the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation will provide assistance and make a difference in the lives of fellow auto care professionals suffering from the effects of this catastrophic storm.”

SEMA Support

As the AACF prepares to aid families affected by hurricane Harvey, SEMA is coordinating its efforts with the foundation to identify and assist those impacted by the disaster.

"SEMA is contacting member companies in southeast Texas and other affected areas, and will be taking part in aftermarket industry efforts to raise and distribute funds for assistance,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “As in the past, the clearinghouse for these efforts will be the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation. SEMA will be coordinating with the Foundation to aid aftermarket families affected by hurricane Harvey.”

AACF is asking for tax-deductible donations to help provide urgently needed funding. Donations can be made online at http://bit.ly/AACF-Cares, by mail at P.O. Box 865420, Orlando, FL, 32886, or by calling 772-286-5500.

Roadwire Cares

Roadwire Cares, the nonprofit charity of Roadwire Inc., has partnered with the Austin Disaster Relief Network to bring relief to families and individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“The people of southeast Texas are in desperate need of help,” the 501(c)3 nonprofit stated in a news release. “Thousands have been evacuated, and thousands have lost their homes…All donations are tax deductible and every dollar goes to help flood victims.

Click to donate to the Roadwire Cares Hurricane Harvey campaign.

For more information, visit roadwirecares.org, or send questions to info@roadwirecares.org.

Covercraft Contribution

Covercraft has announced an effort to help contribute funds to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The company has set up a fundraising page at CrowdRise.com in an effort to raise funds payable to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

"Covercraft Industries has many valued business partners, customers and friends that live in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. We have developed this fundraiser to give back to the communities stricken by this storm,” said Mark Korros, CEO of Covercraft Industries. 

Donations as little as $10 can be made, according to Covercraft, which will match the total of campaign contributions up to $10,000, payable to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

The Covercraft campaign is set to end on Sept. 15, and the company stated it is confident that its goal will be met.

"Our business associates, suppliers, contractors and supporters are sure to assist us with this effort to help the people affected by this monumental storm,” Korros said.

Click for more information about the Covercraft campaign effort.