Grace for Vets, an organization promoting free carwashes for veterans and active-duty personnel on Veterans Day each year, today announced that 5,429 carwash locations in four countries participated in this year’s event. It is estimated that 434,000 free washes were provided for the veterans and service personnel. Grace for Vets had hoped to reach 5,000 carwashes participating and 400,000 free washes up from 4426 in 2019.
“We are simply blown away by this year’s participation”, added Mark Curtis, the event’s organizer and CEO of Splash Car Wash. “To grow by 20% in a crazy year like this is simply amazing and very gratifying.” The event has grown in every year since its inception in 2003 when it was started by Mike Mountz, a carwash operator in Pennsylvania and a veteran. Curtis has spearheaded the charity since Mountz retired in 2013.
When asked what contributed to this year’s success, Curtis responded, “I think it’s a combination of things. We continue to get great support from the International Carwash Association and from several of the regional and state associations. Additionally, the trade magazines have helped us tremendously with publicity. This was especially important in a year where we didn’t have the trade shows where we run a booth to promote GFV. Finally, I think this year everybody just needed to do something to make them feel good. Doing something for our vets and soldiers makes everyone feel great – customers, employees, and of course, the vets.”
Curtis also attributed much of the growth to large operators who continue to support the annual event. He cited 7-11, Mister Carwash, and Sheetz as participants that added hundreds of locations to the list. “We thank everyone who participated, big or small. Every location who joined the effort contributed a little joy to those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms,” Curtis added.