By DAVE DELUCA - For the Star Beacon
March was a great month for Pike’s CARSTAR. On March 23 the auto body repair shop celebrated its 30th year in business and its 24th year as a CARSTAR franchise. What’s more, on March 14 the Madison/Perry Area Chamber of Commerce honored CARSTAR as its 2013 Business of the Year. The small locally owned business certainly deserved the recognition for its years of community service. But it still was a surprise to CARSTAR owners Doug and Tamara Pike.
“I was very pleased,” Doug Pike said. “I hadn’t given it much thought, so it definitely came as a surprise.”
“I was overwhelmed,” Tamara Pike said. “It was quite an honor. We may have to devote an entire wall space to all of the plaques and awards.”
Pike said that earlier in the month some members of the Madison/Perry Area Chamber of Commerce came to the shop, apparently for car repairs. He soon found out they had came to tell him Pike’s CARSTAR had been named 2013 Business of the Year. CARSTAR in Madison has been a member of the Madison/Perry Area Chamber of Commerce for 25 years.
The Madison/Perry Area Chamber of Commerce used three criteria to name the 2013 Business of the Year. One was that the business had proven to be successful. Pike’s CARSTAR has been an important Madison area business for 30 years, so that part of the nomination was assured. The second criterion was that the business relied on other local businesses for part of its work. CARSTAR in Madison acquires used parts and other gear from local businesses. It also offers towing, alignments, some mechanical repairs as part of its own non-insurance paid business to local customers. The third criterion was that the business was involved in the community. This part of the award was met with flying colors. Pike’s CARSTAR has been involved in sponsorship and donations for scores of local organizations and community events since 1985.
“It started when my daughter Elena asked us to sponsor her softball team,” Doug Pike said. “Since then we’ve sponsored a lot of local team and athletes.”
He said every year since then CARSTAR in Madison has sponsored youth organizations like the Madison Softball Association, the Madison Little League, the Madison Soccer League, the Madison Mustangs Girls’ travel soccer team and Madison Youth Basketball. It sponsors coach pitch and t-ball. It also sponsors Madison Adult League softball.
“We’ve been doing this for long enough that I’m fixing cars for the sons and daughters of customers we had during the early days of youth sports sponsorship,” he said.
Pike’s CARSTAR in Madison also sponsors events for the social benefit of the community. Pike named the ‘Soaps-It-Up’ car wash benefit held yearly for the Madison Food Bank and the Make-A-Wish Foundation as extremely successful. The Madison Boy Scouts troop helps with this event. With 140 cars washed, the benefit received recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records. Many other CARSTAR franchises around the country are following CARSTAR in Madison’s lead in the ‘Soaps-It-Up’ program.
Also noteworthy is ‘Military Month,’ which supports local servicemen and women. This year 120 ‘care boxes’ of goods were sent to them. CARSTAR also sponsors a dinner for veterans at the American Legion. The list of community events Pike’s CARSTAR in Madison supports is long. These are a few examples.
“We don’t do these things for recognition,” Pike said. “We’re just people doing our bit to help people.”
Tamara Pike said the list of government entities and organizations honoring CARSTAR of Madison as 2013 Business of the Year was amazing.
“There were so many,” she said. “They included recognition from the Lake County commissioners, the Ohio Senate, Madison Schools, Madison Township, the Village of North Perry and many others.”
Doug and Tamara Pike said Pike’s CARSTAR in Madison will continue to help the community as long as it’s in business.
“It’s part of the business mission, Tamara Pike said.
CARSTAR has more than 400 franchises in the U.S. and Canada. CARSTAR handles car repairs through insurance claims. CARSTAR in Madison also offers towing, alignments and other services. Pike’s CARSTAR is located at 410 North Lake Street in Madison.