Summit Electric Supply, Albuquerque, N.M., completed its 2011 Grand Prix tour, a dozen open house events with vendor tradeshows, each featuring the racing theme. Events ran from September to November. Crowds of electrical professionals attended and thousands of dollars were raised for charity. Prizes included 14 ATVs, 16 iPads and much more.

“This was a successful tour,” said Sheila Hernandez, vice president of marketing. “Our goal was to promote the Summit brand and generate interest in key manufacturers' products across these markets.”

Dozens of manufacturers participated in each event and tables featured new products, demonstrations, samples, contests and more.

“Open Houses draw in new and existing customers, giving them the opportunity to visit with our local team, talk with our manufacturer partners, learn about new products, see first-hand the caliber of our operations and facilities and have a little fun,” Hernandez said.

The events were held in Gonzales, La.; Phoenix, Santa Fe and Farmington, N.M.; and Austin, Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, El Paso, La Porte, San Antonio and Clute, Texas.

Each event featured a silent auction which raised money for a local charity. Representatives attended each event, manned an informational table and spoke to the crowd about their organizations' work. The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, Share and Care Cockayne Syndrome Network, and ECHO Food Bank were featured charities at one or more Summit event. Each event's charity partner received 100% of auction proceeds.