In the early 1960’s, Gene Crozat was painting cars for Generals in the US Military. He made $191 a month in the Air Force.
Gene had two children before he was 20 and he passionately remembers hard times. He would work all day at the base and work the evening shift at a gas station.
His passion for auto body work grew and grew, so he opened G&C Auto Body in 1972. It was a small shop on Barham Ave in Santa Rosa, CA. “I moved back to Santa Rosa in 1968 with a pack of cigarettes and $1.70,” he reminisced. When new customers belived in him he was thrilled. He went out of his way to do a perfect job on their cars. There were a lot of all-nighters for twenty years to get the cars all done.
Gene’s philosophy of taking excellent care of his customers has lead to many new G&C Auto Body locations. The business has become very successful and profitable. Remembering scary days, Gene has always tried to help others in a corner.
Gene asserted, “Making money just to have money isn’t a good reason to go to work.” So, Gene decided to take a portion from each shop to create the Crozat Family Foundation. The foundation gave away a car a month on the radio for a year to families and individuals in need.
But as it grew to two or three cars a month, Gene realized there was a need for more than cars. So, Gene, Teri, and their children, Shawn, Josh, Jamie, Patrick, and their families each decided to give money from all of their stores monthly to help those in need. As a result, GFF grew over 100% in a year.
The foundation gives purpose to growing the business. We focus on getting people back on their feet, so they can overcome current obstacles and provide for themselves. We help families with transportation, but may also extend help for short term medical bills, gas, groceries, clothing, etc.
Our family believes that we have a responsibility to our fellow man. Our family considers it a great opportunity to help those in need and we strive to make the foundation as successful as G&C Auto Body.