Local lifestyle columnists

Come out and support Solano College auto body program

By From page B12 | April 19, 2014

This column is about three subjects. All of them are related. It’s about Dan Ulrich, his auto body shop program at Solano Community College and the third annual Auto Body Club Car Show.

The car show is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 at Solano Community College.

It’s a fundraiser, but don’t let that scare you because admission is free. There will also be a barbecue, music and drawings. It’s a day for the family. You’ll have a chance to bid on good things at an auction or just eat, listen and look.

All proceeds will go to support the auto body program at the college.

Fellow Rotarian Bob Ogan has been an enthusiastic supporter of Ulrich’s program. Bob invited me to join him, Randy Franklin, Ralph Locke, Dan Henley and Ulrich for a tour of the program. I accepted and was very impressed. Ulrich has put together a real auto body shop for students. He has acquired a new eight-position welding booth with various lifts, plus many other tools and gauges. Ralph told me that the improvements in just a year have been so great it is hard to believe it is the same shop.

Students start the program by bringing in their own new mailbox, crushing it and then restoring it to its original shape with a painted finish. It’s real-life body work in miniature.

It was time well spent. I just wish that all of you could have been there with me. If you wish, you can see it, too. Ulrich said he will be happy to show you around, as well.

That brings us to Ulrich himself. He fits Will Rogers’ idea of a successful man. Rogers said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”

Rogers could have had Ulrich in mind. He’s had a very successful career in the auto body business. He established Graphic Auto Body and with hands-on, seven-day-a-week work, made it hugely successful. He knows what he is doing.

Several years ago he was asked to help out in the auto body program at Solano Community College. He discovered he loved being able to make positive changes in the lives of young men and women. In addition to teaching the essentials of auto body work, he teaches students how to be successful as employees; the successful work ethic. When a student develops skills and a good work attitude, Ulrich works to find the student a job. He believes he has found his mission in life. So do I.

So mark your calendar for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 for the Auto Body Club’s third annual car show at Solano College.

If you have a car, hot rod or motorcycle to enter, call 655-8701, 332-0842 or 712-8074.

The program also needs auto wrecks that are newer models with a unibody design. This is because all cars are now made that way.

If you have one, or know of one that might be available, think about donating it to the program. The tax deduction for the value of its parts may make the gift worthwhile; or just knowing you are helping to change the lives of young people might be reward enough.

More information can be found on the club’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/Solano-College-Auto-Body-Club/561959363886577

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]


Murray Bass


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