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Contest winner uses prize to help single mom

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 09:00
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When South Main Auto Repair owner Eric Obrochta — who is also a Motor Age contributor — found out that his shop’s online video had won CARDONE’s summer/fall installation video content, he already knew what he was going to do with the $5,000 price money.


“This is the second year we’ve entered the contest, and even last year I had made up mind that if I won I was going to use that money to pay it forward and help out someone who was struggling,” Obrochta says. “There are folks who are working and struggling, and they can’t get any kind of assistance because they work. So going into the contest this year, I said that it was my intention to find someone we could something for.”

That someone turned out to be a local single mom who is currently working and putting herself through college. Obrochta’s Avoca, NY-based shop has acquired a 2010 Ford Fusion to replace the woman’s aging and unreliable car. “Her car is in bad shape and she can’t afford to keep it fixed up while she looks for something else,” Obrochta says.

With the help of some other local businesses (including the shop’s tire vendor and a friend at a local auto dealership), Obrochta is fixing up the vehicle so they can present it to the new owner on Dec. 14 as a surprise before the holidays.

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“We have to put some back brakes on it and do an oil change,” Obrochta says. “We go ta bumper cover on it and had it painted, and it’s been detailed. One of our tire vendors gave us a discount on some new snow tires. Everyone really pulled together, so the vehicle can give her several years of good service while she’s going to school and help give her a good head start on life.”

For the contest, twenty technicians submitted videos that received 200,000 views. Obrochta’s submission was titled “What Does ‘Getting an Oil Change’ Include?”, and received 100,000 points tallied from votes and views. This is the second time CARDONE has run a video contest.

“I wanted to put up something that was useful, that a customer might have a question about,” Obrochta says. “If you take a car in for an oil change, what should it include? We show them the process.”

According to Obrochta, putting together the video was old hat for South Main Auto Repair – the shop has been posting YouTube videos since 2015.

“It started out as something kind of silly, but we saw a lot of interactions with people from all over the world,” Obrochta says. “It really took us out of the dirt roads of New York and put us on the superhighway of information. It’s been beneficial learning form others and their experiences, and helping others to learn from us.”

You can view the winning video here.

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