New vehicle to aid Main Street Gym efforts

hal nancy

Salisbury boxing coach Hal Chernoff is renowned for mentoring and training youths who have gone on to win national and world championships. His passion and dedication is evident in the old Nissan Sentra with more than 300,000 miles that he still drives to pick up and transport youngsters he helps.

Caliber Collision, GEICO and Pohanka Automotive Group on Wednesday surprised Chernoff with keys to a completely refurbished, practically brand new vehicle.

The gift was made at the Caliber Collision Salisbury location on North Salisbury Boulevard.

When given the vehicle at a small event here Wednesday, a shocked Chernoff said: “Does anybody want to buy my old car?”

Later, the operator of Main Street Gym put the gift in context.

“This is going to help so many more kids because I can give so many more rides,” the Coach Chernoff said.

GEICO donated the vehicle and technicians at Caliber Collision donated their personal time as a community service to refurbish the vehicle. Pohanka Automotive Group donated parts and materials. The vehicle also comes fully loaded with gifts from numerous local businesses and individuals in the community.

The vehicle donation is part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides, a nationwide community service program in which collision repair companies, insurers and others in the collision industry collaborate to repair and donate vehicles to families and nonprofit organizations in need.

Chernoff began mentoring youths over 26 years ago, recognizing the need in his community for a safe haven for kids and a way for boxing to build bridges between young, old, all races, nationalities and economic backgrounds. In the early years, Chernoff and his wife, Nancy, paid for registrations, boxing gear, travel and anything else the young boxers needed.

With the success of his youth boxing program and with the support of community leaders, the Main Street Boxing Gym in Salisbury was launched in 2010. Its mission is to provide at-risk youths a positive outlet in a challenging but nurturing environment where they learn the importance of hard work and accomplishing goals.

“Caliber Collision is dedicated to restoring the rhythm of lives in every community we serve.  We are pleased to provide this gift of transportation and commend Coach Chernoff for the positive difference he continues to make in the lives of youths in the Salisbury community,” said Paul Krauss, Caliber Collision Vice President of Operations.

“Pohanka of Salisbury is committed to the community that surrounds us, and is honored to support people like Coach Hal Chernoff and Main Street Gym,” said Chris Hagel, Pohanka’s Marketing Director.

“Coach Hal and the work that he does makes our community a better place and all of us here at Pohanka of Salisbury will always be in his corner,” Hagel said.

In the past four years, Caliber Collision has donated more than 80 Recycled Rides vehicles nationwide.  Caliber plans on donating an additional 40 vehicles in 2016 to individuals in need as a way to give back to the communities that Caliber serves.


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