By Mike Davey
Las Vegas, Nevada -- November 13, 2015 -- There are plenty of celebrities at SEMA, and one thing the show always offers is a chance to get up close and personal with stars of the automotive world. Sometimes, a lucky few get even closer.
A special event presented by BASF offered this opportunity to the company’s customers and distributors. Approximately 300 stakeholders packed the Vortex at the Linq hotel for a chance to meet racing star Richard Petty and legendary comedian Jay Leno.
Both Petty and Leno have strong ties to BASF. Petty has been using BASF’s R-M paint system at Petty’s Garage since 1974. Jay Leno is probably best known as a comedian and former host of the tonight show, but he’s also the host of Jay Leno’s Garage and a well-known automotive aficionado. Leno uses BASF’s Glasurit 90 Line for all of his builds.
During the event, Jay Leno made a spur of the moment offer, auctioning off tours of Jay Leno’s Garage, with proceeds going to Victory Junction, a camp that enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illness by providing life-changing camp experiences. The camp was the inspiration of Adam Petty, Richard’s grandson, who tragically lost his life in a racing accident before he could bring the camp to fruition. With a land donation from Richard and Lynda Petty, the Petty family spearheaded a fund-raising campaign, and Adam’s legacy opened its gates to its first campers in 2004.
Richard Petty was quick to sweeten the pot, offering tours of Richard Petty’s Garage as well, again with proceeds going to Victory Junction.
Zubair (Zuby) Siddiqui is the owner of Crescent Industries, a paint, body and equipment distributor operating in Ontario. He made a substantial donation during the event.
“My reason is simple,” he says. “The organization does great work enriching the lives of families affected by serious illness. I’m proud to help them in whatever way I can.”
Others in the audience were also donors, including Kelvin Campbell of CSN-Chapman’s Auto Body in Nova Scotia and Color Compass Corporation, through its subsidiaries White & Peters and Carlson Body Shop Supply.
Dave Swenson of Color Compass explains the donation: “Both White & Peters and Carlson bought one tour of each location apiece,” says Swenson. “We’ll likely end up using them as customer appreciation events, but the important thing is that Victory Junction receives funding. They do great work and we’re proud to support them.”