By Rich Figel
Kathy Custer, owner of Keiki Sitters, is putting her OBAMA Car on eBay this Sunday, Oct. 28, for a very good cause: she's trying to help raise tuition money for two young people, whose family cannot afford to pay for their education right now (more details below). Regardless of your political affiliations, you have to admire Kathy for giving up a prized possession to benefit others. Isn't that the true spirit of what it means to be an American? As Bruce Springsteen says in a new song, "We take care of our own."
Here's the backstory behind the car: about five years ago, Honolulu attorney/architect William Wiegenwald, aka "Wild Bill," heard Obama's first presidential campaign speech and was so certain Obama would win that he immediately purchased the rights to the OBAMA license plates and placed them on his Chevy Silverado. A year after Obama took office, Bill got a job in Qatar and gifted his car to Kathy, a close friend.
I was introduced to Kathy at a Hawaii Inventors Club meeting, where I learned she was not only the founder of a hugely successful nanny service (they also offer pet-sitting and take care of elderly folks) but was in the process of launching the first Indoor Skydiving Center in Hawaii. It's essentially a vertical wind tunnel where you put on a special flying suit that allows you to simulate the skydiving experience. She expects to start construction in about a year. Then I ran into Kathy again while we were filming our segments about hypnotherapist Mindy Ash. Turns out Kathy credits Mindy's sessions for helping her nail the big presentation that got Kathy millions in financial backing from investors for the indoor skydiving venture. You can see that video by clicking here.
Kathy uses a motorcycle as her primary mode of transportation, but has been proudly displaying her OBAMA Car in front of her house and enjoys the mostly positive reactions she gets when she does take it out for a spin. She says many people snap pictures of the car, which have the only Hawaii OBAMA license plates in existence. In Hawaii, it is illegal to sell a license plate, so you must purchase the vehicle and then you can transfer the plates to another vehicle. Wild Bill's 1994 Chevy Silverado has close to 160,000 miles on it, seats eight with working AC, radio, four wheel drive and has had only one other owner it its lifetime -- Kathy.
According to Kathy, someone in Illinois also has OBAMA plates and is trying to sell them for $1.1 million (no car included) but she's not doing it for personal gain. The proceeds will go toward putting a brother and sister through college. Katie Garren is 20, and currently attends a community college while working on her associates degree requirements. She hopes to attend a university so she can earn a degree in business. Logan Garren is 17 and will graduate high school in 2013. He aspires to be an electrical engineer, and wants to work for the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab program.
As a special mahalo to anyone who bids at least $50 more than the prior bid, Kathy will mail them a handwritten thank you on an OBAMA Car postcard mailed from Hawaii if they send her their address via eBay. The auction goes live this Sunday and will close on Election Day, Nov. 6. Opening bid is just 99 cents. I wonder if bidders will wait to see who wins?
Speaking of elections, when I recently wrote about my Vegas trip, I noted that casino bookmakers and Wall Street brokers had something in common: they bet more with their heads than their hearts or guts, and place their money on who they think will perform better. As it happens, gamblers have done a far better job of picking who will be president than the pollsters. Here's an interesting article about that. If the gambling trends are correct again as they were in 2008, Kathy will be very happy -- the smart money says Obama is going to be re-elected.
You can still catch the special Halloween edition of Career Changers TV on OC16 until next Saturday. For daily viewing times, and links to the CCTV YouTube Channel, please visit www.CareerChangers.TV. Have a great weekend!