August 18, 2022

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Two lucky families received some new rides Thursday from the School...

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Two lucky families received some new rides Thursday from the School of Washburn Tech, part of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program.

The Recycled Rides program refurbished two vehicles, a 2008 Toyota Yaris and a 2008 Mercury Sable, to be gifted to two recipients, which have been selected by a committee consisting of Washburn Tech students and leaders of the United Way of Greater Topeka.

Melissa Perez-Vargas was one of the recipients for the newly restored car.

“This is going to be a blessing for my family, because we really needed a car,” said Perez-Vargas. “We have been struggling. I’ll be able to go to work, I’ll be able to take my kids to Doctor appointments, take my kids to school and I wouldn’t be needing to ask for rides anymore.”

Washburn said that the total number of cars that have been donated by Washburn Tech reached 32 Thursday.

“What an honor to have a tremendous partnership with Washburn Tech,” said Bill Garoutte, President and CEO of the National Auto Body Council. “We are very grateful for their support of the NABC Recycled Rides program, and offer our sincere congratulations to Eric and Sharlene Showalter and their students on their 31st and 32nd vehicle presentations.”

The NABC program partners students with instructors, experts, and mentors in the auto service industry to restore these vehicles and give them to families who really need it. Even businesses and individuals donate parts and supplies to help renovate the cars.

According to a release by Washburn University, Washburn Tech is considered the first college in the U.S. to participate in the recycled rides program.

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