Paige Torres…On Saturday, August 6th, business owner TJ Crossman celebrated the Grand Opening of TJ Crossman’s Auto Repair Inc. at its new and larger location on North Melrose Drive. The Grand Opening, which lasted from 12-4 p.m. featured great food from Bull Taco catering, beverages, a DJ, face painting, TJ Crossman’s Auto Repair T-shirts and merchandise giveaways and even a raffle with prizes including carwashes and break offs. With a cheery crowd of nearly 50 people, the Grand Opening also featured the exciting reveal of the winner of a free car, which TJ gifts to someone in need each year for his Wheels to Prosper Giveaway.
Since 1992, TJ has been working to provide quality auto repair services in the local community, establishing his own business in 2006.
TJ Crossman’s Auto Repair shop has since evolved and received much praise in the local area, from being ranked as one of the best in auto repair in San Diego to winning the Heroes of Vista Small Business Award in 2015.
In addition to delivering quality auto repairs, TJ is known by his customers for his great customer service and his big heart. TJ has continually shown his dedication to serving others through actions such as knitting hats and scarves for the homeless in Massachusetts, hosting annual food drives, and being an active participant in Girl Scouts Public Relations and the Rancho Buena Vista Service Unit.
However, perhaps one of the most profound demonstrations of TJ’s compassion is the Wheels to Prosper Giveaway he now hosts every year.
Through this annual giveaway, TJ has made it his mission to provide a refurbished car to a family or individual in need whose life will truly be transformed by the donated vehicle. To make this giveaway possible, a donor is requested to provide a car, which TJ then fixes up for the winner.
This year, Darin Piarce of North County Ford reached out to TJ after seeing a post about his giveaway on social media and arranged for North County Ford to donate a 2005 Ford Freestyle to be refurbished for the giveaway.
With this donation, an already great car-dazzling bright white in the middle of the shop the day of the Grand Opening-was able to be fixed up to become good as new. Members of the community who saw TJ’s post about the giveaway on social media were then able to apply to win the amazing car based on their need for it, with three judges making the ultimate decision as to who would be Saturday’s winner.
Though the decision was surely not an easy one for the objective judges, the winner of the Ford Freestyle announced on Saturday was Spencer Tapia and his family. Through the tears and ear-to-ear smiles expressed by Michelle and Spencer Tapia on Saturday, it was clear to see that the family was very appreciative and deserving of the car. Like all of the nominees, the Tapias were required to submit a nomination (or be nominated by a friend) with a description as to why they deserved the free car. Amongst nearly a hundred nominations sent in by email and post to TJ were the letters of Spencer Tapia and his friend, nominating Spencer to receive the car based on the tough circumstances faced by his family.
As their letters told, the Tapia’s three year-old daughter Nina suffers from a condition called Rett syndrome, which causes her to face many neurological problems as well as issues with speaking, learning, mood, breathing, eating, and even walking.
Because Rett syndrome is a rare condition which affects only 1 in 15,000 girls as a result of DNA mutation, access to medical care for the condition is limited. There are only 9 clinics in the U.S. which provide treatment for the incurable Rett Syndrome, one of which is located in San Diego. Though the Tapias are grateful to have treatment available within their reach, they claim that Nina has multiple doctors which she has to visit on a regular basis, and driving her down to her appointments in San Diego requires constant access to a reliable vehicle. This was a major concern for the Tapias, since they were borrowing a car from a friend temporarily. According to Michelle Tapia, the Ford Freestyle will offer amazing opportunities for the Tapia family. Not only will the car allow the family to transport Nina to and from her appointments, but it will also allow them room to store special medical equipment required by their daughter and provide easier mobility for Spencer, who is often in a wheelchair due to his condition of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).
As the Tapia family summarized, they are certain that the judges reviewed the nominations of many other members of the community who were also deserving of the car, but it is a great blessing for them to receive the Freestyle all the same. Initially rendered speechless by the news that her family was receiving the car, Michelle Tapia claimed.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and incredibly thankful.”
According to TJ, this giveaway, now in its second year, is something he plans to continue doing at the same time each year. Through this giveaway and the other charitable deeds he constantly executes, TJ claims that he is simply doing what he can to make somebody else’s life “just a little bit easier.”
It seems that making people’s lives easier is a common theme with TJ, who has great reviews for his customer service. TJ’s relationship with his customers can only be described as friendly and welcoming.
Since the opening of his own business in 2006, TJ has aimed to deliver classic customer service and create good relationships with his customers so that they become more than just customers-they become friends. As demonstrated by the great turnout at TJ’s ribbon cutting ceremony with the Vista Chamber of Commerce on August 11th, it is clear that TJ is not short of friends and supporters in the local community. To make guests feel welcome at the ribbon cutting ceremony held at his new shop location, TJ even cooked hamburgers and hotdogs for the enthusiastic crowd-including Chamber members and several Vista princesses-to enjoy. After the ribbon was cut, introducing TJ to the community of Vista businesses at his new location, he was presented with a certificate recognizing his continued success in the area. And with a new sign and increased visibility for his business, it can be expected that his success at his new location will only grow. As TJ stated in reflection upon the massive support shown for his business at both the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting event,
“I am grateful, shocked, and thankful…I am so humbled by the amount of people who have come out to share these special moments with me.”
According to TJ, in his new location at 1148 N Melrose Drive, Suite A, Vista, he aspires to deliver the same great customer service and quality full service repairs he always has, as well as alignments in the future.
To learn more about TJ and the services he offers, visit http://www.tjcrossmansautorepair.com.