SIDNEY — Tom Martin, owner of Sidney Car Star, spoke to the Sidney Rotary Club during its regular meeting Aug. 1.
Martin has been a lifelong Sidney resident who, at 15, received an opportunity to earn some extra money by painting a building for Donnie Moorman. Moorman owned the Sidney Body Shop. Martin stayed on and worked around the shop. Roy Stone bought the shop in 1981 and took Martin under his wing and taught him how to do body work. Martin said that Stone also encouraged him to learn other trades. Martin learned how to work with concrete in high school instead of taking auto body-repair classes. He said that Stone had told him that he could teach Martin auto repair and that Martin should instead learn something else in school.
Martin learned his craft and in 2002, Stone sold the business to him. Martin said he quickly realized that while he knew a lot about body work, he knew very little about the business side of the trade. He became a Car Star franchise and took advantage of the training that Car Star offered. He now has two franchises, one in Sidney and one in Troy, and in 2009 was named the Car Star Franchise of the year, among 285 franchises.
Martin said he has a passion for helping kids and that he has been blessed with so much, he feels that it is important for him to do what he can for the community. He has served on many boards in Sidney, including the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Chamber of Commerce. He also supports nonprofits. Tom and his Car Star family partnered with the Sidney football program to conduct a car wash fundraiser. This year, they raised more than $1,500, which they donated to the Make a Wish Foundation and Relay for Life event.
Martin was asked what message he would like to give to the youth of Sidney and replied, “Show up for work, work hard and participate in everything that you can. You can do anything you want to do if you work hard and are willing to make the sacrifices.”