Riverside Towing nets national award for heroic assistance on Christmas Eve

From left: Jeff Blake, field manager with AAA; Mike Hoshaw, VP Automotive Service with AAA East Central; Lee Richards, owner Riverside Auto & Towing; Tina Richards, owner Riverside Auto & Towing; Dave Hill, Regional Operations Manager. Photo by Carrie Rose.

Riverside Towing nets national award for heroic assistance on Christmas Eve

POMEROY, Ohio – A local business has been recognized for going above and beyond on a cold Christmas Eve night.

For efforts that went the extra mile Lee and Tina Richards, owners of Riverside Towing were presented with the For Real Heroes Award from AAA and Ford Moter Company. The ceremony which was partial virtual was held at the Farmers Bank Community Room in Pomeroy.

Lee and Tina Richards listen during the award ceremony Bob Huffman with AAA. Photo by Carrie Rose.

The award came about following a Christmas Eve call received by Riverside Towing. A young woman was heading from Columbus to Florida to surprise her family on Christmas Day. She ended up in the area when her tire popped. She was a AAA member and called AAA for assistance. The call came in to local AAA towing company, Riverside Towing. The young woman was audibly distraught at being stuck along the road at night in an area she was unfamiliar. Lee Richards went out on the call, but found her spare was not in a condition to have her drive on so he brought her back to the shop to try to work on her other tire. While Lee Richards was working on the woman’s tire, Tina Richards kept the woman company at their house and let her know where some safe places to stop out on her journey would be. When Lee realized that he could not fix the tire, he placed two tires on the vehicle free of charge. Tina said that usually they did not have tires like that around, but things just came together and they were able to help the young woman get back on her way. After Lee took care of the car, they sent the young woman back on the road with some snacks for the journey.

From left, Lee Richards receives the keys to a new Ford tow truck from Mike Hoshaw with AAA while Tina Richards holds the award Riverside Towing received for the heroic measures taken to help a AAA member. Photo by Carrie Rose.

Out of hundreds of submissions, Riverside Towing was chosen for this national award. In addition to a trophy, Riverside Towing also received $30,000 towards a brand-new tow truck.

Various officials with AAA and Ford were either on hand at the ceremony or virtually for the presentation. All of them remarked on the dedication Lee Richards demonstrated with going above and beyond to help the young woman.

“This reignites faith in the human spirit,” Craig Fetty with Ford Motor Company remarked during the ceremony.

According to Bob Huffman, Director of Network of Savings Program with AAA, noted that 80 percent of all AAA towing is done by independent contractors like Lee Richards and Riverside Auto & Towing. Huffman commented as well on the dedication, customer service and the Richards ethic to “do the right thing.”

“We work hard to train our drivers to do the right thing,” Tina Richards said.

With this award, it is evident that it is not just something Lee and Tina Richards tell their drivers to do, it is something they demonstrate and practice as well.

Lee and Tina Richards look over the new Ford towing truck. Photo by Carrie Rose.
The new Ford tow truck that will now be part of Riverside Towing’s fleet. Photo by Carrie Rose.