BY STEVE HOUSE
It is with great pleasure that I
presented Clyde Payne, president and CEO of Crosstown Auto in
St. Paul, Minn., the Region 6 Director's Award for his
contribution to Vietnam Veterans of America and the Minnesota
State Council. Payne is a member of St. Paul Chapter 320. He
served in the U.S. Marine Corps from August 1962 to August
1965 as a truck driver in a tank battalion. He has been in the
auto recycling business for over 25 years.
Five years ago, the Minnesota State Council asked him to start
a vehicle donation program. He was enthusiastic about helping
the state council provide funds to support the fledgling
veterans service officer program and went right to work
developing the program.
The Auto Donation Program has been a tremendous success. In
the last five years, 21,000 vehicles have been donated, 18,500
of the vehicles were crushed for scrap and 2,500 were sold at
Crosstown Auto's sales lot. The operation has earned $305,000
for the state council.
Crosstown Auto and Clyde Payne's efforts have resulted in
funding to employ two full-time veterans service officers and
an office manager for the Minnesota State Council. The VSOs
have helped more than seven hundred veterans, bringing more
than $6 million to those families.
Payne's diligence and ingenuity in developing lower-cost
procedures has resulted in an increase of funding each year.
This year, our funding is up 58 percent.
Payne has worked with the Minnesota State Council liaison on a
weekly basis to facilitate the program. His staff, yard
workers, and mechanics are proud to help veterans. Payne
intends to make this the best program in the state of
Jerry Kyser, president of the Minnesota State Council,
accepted the award for Payne.