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Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Rocky Bleier and the Veterans’ Leadership Program Helps Present Two Vehicles to Two Deserving Pittsburgh Veterans

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NABC Recycled Rides® Program, Farmers Insurance®, Allstate and Body by Cochran Collision Join with Steelers Great to Donate Two Refurbished Vehicles to Veterans in Need of Reliable Transportation

Car Presentation to Recipients Held July 18 at Rosedale Technical College in Pittsburgh

MEDIA NOTE: Hi-res photos and video from the presentation are available here

PITTSBURGH (July 18, 2022) – On Monday, July 18, Pittsburgh Steelers legend Rocky Bleier and the Veterans Leadership Program helped two deserving Pittsburgh veterans experience a life-changing event – the presentation of two vehicles to provide them independence and the ability to work and take care of their families – thanks to the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides® program along with car donors Allstate and Farmers Insurance® and Body by Cochran Collision Monroeville.

The presentation was held at Rosedale Technical College, in conjunction with the Collision Repair Education Foundation industry reception. Bleier joined the festivities, along with representatives of Allstate, Farmers Insurance® and Body by Cochran Collision, shared stories of inspiration and teamwork, and met with the veterans and other guests.

Ryan Mueller receiving car with Rocky Bleier and the team from #1 Cochran and Body by Cochran
(Rocky Bleier celebrates with Ryan Mueller, U.S. Army veteran, and the team from #1 Cochran and Body by Cochran, which repaired the vehicle.)

U.S. Army veteran Rocky Bleier, who was drafted while playing for the Steelers and served in Vietnam, works in the Pittsburgh community to help other veterans in need.

“I am so pleased to be able to be here and present these cars to veterans in need of transportation,” said Bleier, a four-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers. “I’m proud to work with Veterans Leadership Program, which identified these veterans and connected them with the NABC Recycled Rides program. It is a tribute to our community that we have organizations like them to take care of our veterans. I am very privileged to be able to help with this program. The NABC does this around the country throughout the year and gives away 300 cars to people in need, like single mothers and about 75 percent to veterans.”

Rocky Bleier presenting the key to Anita Richmond along with Nadine Barto from Allstate
(Rocky Bleier presents the key to Anita Richmond along with Nadine Barto from Allstate, which donated the vehicle.)

The veteran recipients, who were selected by the Veteran Leadership Program, included:

Anita Richmond, United States Marine Corps veteran, was working daily at her full-time job, and part-time job as a Lyft driver until her 2007 vehicle experienced extensive transmission issues that were too expensive to repair. Richmond has since been utilizing public transportation and had to give up her part-time Lyft job.

“This will help me maintain employment and take care of the simple daily things like grocery shopping,” said Richmond. “I am forever grateful for this opportunity and very thankful that it’s been made available to me. It is awesome that this program helps veterans when they need it.”

Ryan Mueller served his country in the US Army Reserves for eight years, and as a combat engineer in Iraq he sustained injuries in combat have led him to great pain that he deals with every day. Through the pain, he walks two miles to work as a cook at a local restaurant, which adds stress on his knees. Mueller is an extremely hard worker and is also enrolled in Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment to help him retrain in a different line of work that would be less stressful on his body.  

“It’s been three or four months since I had a reliable vehicle, so I can only take a job that I can walk to,” said Mueller. “Thanks to this, I have a job making twice as much money starting tomorrow because I now have transportation to get there. This will help me move forward in my life, get to work and go back to school to complete my masters to help other folks in need.”

NABC Recycled Rides® is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides® program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council® have donated nearly 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million.

Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides® presentation included PPG, which donated the paint for the vehicles; 1-800 Charity Cars; TOONA Automotive Paint & Equipment and FindPigtails.com, both of whom provided generous gas cards for the two veterans; Collision Repair Education Foundation and Rosedale Technical College, which hosted the event.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL AUTO BODY COUNCIL®

The National Auto Body Council® is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities we serve. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council® has gifted nearly 3,000 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities for nearly 5,000 First Responders and is helping educate students and adult drivers in communities around the country through NABC Recycled Rides®, NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) and the NABC® Drive Out Distraction program. That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC® membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council® is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit www.NationalautoBodyCouncil.org.

About Body by Cochran

Body by Cochran is the collision repair division of #1 Cochran, Western Pennsylvania’s automotive leader. The third largest dealer-owned auto body business in the nation,* Body by Cochran operates 10 collision centers throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. With a full complement of expertly trained technicians and leading-edge equipment, Body by Cochran is certified for collision repair by more automakers than other collision center in the tri-state area. More information is available at www.bodybycochran.com. *Source: Automotive News’ Fixed Ops Journal ranking of Top 50 dealership groups in the U.S. ranked on revenue, August 2021.

About #1 Cochran

#1 Cochran is Western Pennsylvania’s leading automotive retailer and the 61st largest dealer group in the country. Founded in 1965 as a single-point Pontiac dealership, the company today operates 29 new-vehicle franchises representing 18 domestic and imported brands. Through its various sales, service, parts and collision repair operations, the company employs more than 1,200 team members and has been voted a Pittsburgh Top Workplace 11 consecutive years. #1 Cochran is recognized as an industry leader in customer experience and community involvement. More information is available at www.cochran.com.

Veterans Leadership Program

Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) is Pennsylvania’s premier Veteran-centric 501(c)3 organization providing essential services to Veterans and their families.  VLP is a Joint Commission accredited Behavioral Health Organization as well as a Standards of Excellence bearing member of the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations.  Since 1982, VLP has operated with a focus on empowering Veterans to navigate the transitions of life.  VLP currently operates nine housing programs ranging from emergency shelter, bridge housing, rapid rehousing, to permanent supportive housing; two career development programs to assist Veterans who are un/underemployed with job placement opportunities; and five supportive service programs that provide emergency financial assistance, benefits assistance, a Women Veterans program, Veterans Court justice program, and a wellness program that assists Veterans in combating substance abuse and Post Traumatic Stress.  In 2021, VLP empowered 7,278 with essential services throughout 30 counties in Western and Central Pennsylvania.  VLP proudly serves all who have served, regardless of their Veterans Administration (VA) eligibility, discharge status, or their length of service.  For the past 40 years, VLP has provided necessary support to local Veterans who are facing challenging transitions to reach their fullest potential.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Deborah Robinson
312.505.4336
drobinson@vmg1.com

Deborah Robinson
Author: Deborah Robinson