For the second year in a row, the Checkers teamed up with a team of partners to present local Navy veteran Ashley Williams with a newly restored car.

Caliber Collision, GEICO, Veterans Bridge Home, Scott Clark Honda and the Checkers all joined forces to surprise Williams with her new care on the ice during the first period.

Williams spent six years in the US. Navy where she earned numerous medals and commendations. A recent transplant to Charlotte, Williams is employed by Goodwill Industries and has already immersed and dedicated herself to volunteer efforts that help empower women going through hardships and looking for a supportive community. She makes monthly trips to Hope Haven Shelter to drop off donations from throughout the community.

“I started paying attention to the homeless veterans we have here,” said Williams. “Some of them were my friends. I just wanted to help, honestly.”

Williams was doing all this without a vehicle of her own, relying on public transportation or borrowing cars to get to work and her philanthropic efforts.

That didn’t hamper William’s enthusiasm, though.

“When you really focus on those around you instead of yourself, your situation seems smaller,” she said.

Veterans Bridge Home noticed the work she did and nominated Williams to be a part of this national program that donates cars.

“She’s been a leader in the short time she’s been here,” said Tommy Rieman, Director of Philanthropy for Veterans Bridge Home. “She never asks for a thing. It’s the least we could do to get her on her feet and in a ride so she can keep helping the community.”

Caliber Collision and Scott Clark Honda then came in to provide the vehicle.

“They came to us and told us Ashley’s story,” said David White, Service Director for Scott Clark Honda. “They didn’t even have to get a sentence completed before we connected with it and wanted to assist in the process and get her back on the road to do what she does best.”

“Our company’s purpose is to restore you back to the rhythm of your life,” said Steve Horton, Regional Vice President of Operations with Caliber. “It starts with doing the right thing.”

The number of moving parts that went into making the giveaway happen are impressive, with the companies coming together for a great cause.

“Tonight was a spirit of community,” said Rieman. “It took a lot of partners.”

In choosing Williams as the recipient, the local Charlotte community is benefitting in turn.

“Being able to reach out to someone who gives so much to the community and never asks for anything in return and make their day, it’s going to allow her to provide so much more to the community,” said Jason Phelps, Regional Claims Manager for GEICO.

For Williams, it’s a testament that her hard work to make Charlotte better isn’t going unnoticed.

“This shows that someone really cares as much as I care,” she said. “As simple as that sounds, a lot of times it’s easy to feel like that’s not the case.”
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.