The motorcycle was donated by ADESA, which runs vehicle auctions throughout North America. According to the association, the Frank E. McCarthy Memorial Fund of the NADA Charitable Foundation has contributed $190,000 to Canine Companions, placing 19 companion dogs with physically disabled children and military veterans since 2002. The NADA Foundation established the fund to honor McCarthy after his death in 2001.
Verde's winning bid of $26,000 will benefit the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence and provide up to three specially-trained service dogs to assist disabled U.S. veterans.
“I'm a veteran. My dad was a veteran, and my son and grandkids are all veterans,” said Verde, president of Joe Verde Sales & Management Training Inc. in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. “And, I appreciate everything that the men and women in the armed forces stationed around the world do for all of us.”
Verde served in the U.S. Army for more than seven years and was stationed in Vietnam in 1967, 1968 and 1969 during the Vietnam War as a CH-47 Flight Engineer. As a Purple Heart recipient himself, he has a strong connection with other veterans and has become active in ways to help them make a smoother transition into their lives back at home.
For ADESA, this marked the second consecutive year the company has held a live auction at the industry convention to benefit wounded veterans.
“Last year, we were excited about the opportunity to try something new and host a charity motorcycle auction in our booth at NADA,” said Tom Caruso, president and CEO of ADESA in a company statement. “It was so much fun and so successful that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to do it again this year.”