Michael Atkinson of Carson City was awarded a refurbished vehicle Saturday morning thanks to the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides Program at Western Nevada College.
Atkinson received a 2006 GMC Envoy.
A campus selection committee decided that Atkinson overwhelmingly met the criteria for the donation.
“We were looking at not only someone who has served our country but is also serving their community when they got back,” said Timothy Galluzi, a pre-admissions adviser for WNC’s Veterans Resource Center who served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Atkinson was selected, in part, because of his contributions to both of WNC’s Recycled Rides project.
“It feels good on a patriotic holiday that we can reward fellow vets in such a way, especially such a deserving individual,” Galluzi said. “Michael’s the type of individual who wouldn’t ask for anything in return.”
Zach Adams met Atkinson when they were freshmen in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Carson High School. They both joined the U.S. Navy in 2008, and Atkinson eventually became part of the U.S. Marine Corps, where he helped assist the injured on front lines in Afghanistan.
“He doesn’t ask for much, but when you need him, he’s there,” Adams said.
Since returning to civilian life, Atkinson has excelled in the classroom at WNC, being named to the Dean’s List for fall 2014 and spring 2015 and becoming a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
State Farm donated the vehicle. The vehicle was then repaired and refurbished by Western Nevada College students taking classes in Auto Collision Technology. Recycled Rides is a nationwide program in which collision repair companies, insurers, suppliers and vendors collaborate to refurbish and donate vehicles to individuals, families and service organizations in need. Hundreds of vehicles are gifted each year across the country through the program.
“Recycled Rides is another way that State Farm can contribute to families and organizations across the country in a way that truly helps improve the quality of their life,” said Clay Murray, State Farm Agent. “It’s great to know that that our donation of the vehicle will make a difference in a community’s efforts to help families recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.”
Atkinson, was nominated to receive a Recycled Rides vehicle by Western Nevada College of Carson City because of his dedication and determination to rebuild a stable lifestyle for his family.
WNC President Chester Burton said the college plans to increase the number of donations it makes in the future.
“For the future, I see WNC working with Recycled Rides to obtain the donated vehicles and complete three to four vehicles a year in conjunction with the program,” said Burton, who dedicated 20 years of his professional career to the U.S. Navy, including working as a Naval Supply Officer at the Fallon Naval Air Station.
Sponsors of Saturday’s donation included All American Auto Body & Service, Atkins Classic Floors, Capitol City Gun Club, Concours Body Shop, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jimmy John’s, Martin Auto Color, Paul Schat’s Bakery, Prestige Car Wash & Detail Center, State Farm Insurance, Tri Valley Glass & Screen, WNC’s Student Veterans Club and WNC’s Veterans Resource Center.
For more information visit www.recycledrides.org.
Special thanks in helping put the project together goes to Zach Adams; Bob Andreasen; Michael Atkinson; Mike Bennett; Joe Brillhart; Kevin Burns; Andrew Cheechov; James Dempsey; Angelo DePerez; Natalie Frey; Timothy Galluzi; Alex Garic; David Giles; Paul Gould; Drew and Nicole Hansen; Austin Lambert; Lilly Leon-Vicks; Mark Leonard; Dennis Marshall; Donald McKay; Joe Mora; Steve and Stefan Murray; Randy Naylor; Hillary, Tina and Jameson Nelson; Joseph, Hannah and Harlan Ouellette; David Steiger; Tom Stryker; Chuck and Linda Sulkala; Zach Washabaugh; Linda Whitehill; Rusty Wolbers, and the WNC Marketing Team.