Wheel deal keeps Mind Springs effort moving forward

Tammy Allen donated the proceeds from the sale of her restored 1967 Chevrolet Nova to Mind Springs Health and its campaign to expand its psychiatric hospital in Grand Junction. (Photo courtesy Mind Springs Health)
Tammy Allen donated the proceeds from the sale of her restored 1967 Chevrolet Nova to Mind Springs Health and its campaign to expand its psychiatric hospital in Grand Junction. (Photo courtesy Mind Springs Health)

Mind Springs Health has received $100,000 from the sale of a classic car to help the organization expand mental health services in Western Colorado.

Mind Springs received the proceeds from the sale of a custom 1967 Chevrolet Nova at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas.

Tammy Allen, a Grand Junction woman who operated a museum and events center to house her collection of automobiles, donated the proceeds from the sale of her car. Allen sold more than 80 of her vehicles at the auction.

The 1967 Nova was restored in 2012 with a torch red finish and custom build featuring an upgraded engine, transmission with floor shifter and Cragar wheels.

Allen and Sharon Raggio, president and chief executive officer of Mind Springs Health discussed at the auction how the organization provides services to people in need and how a campaign to expand its West Springs psychiatric hospital in Grand Junction will provide more services. Bidding rose to $100,000 before the gavel fell.

Mind Springs plans to double the number of patients it can accommodate at its psychiatric hospital with the addition of up to 64 beds at its inpatient center at West Springs. The project is expected to cost $34 million.

Based in Glenwood Springs, Mind Springs Health offers counseling, therapy and other services in a 10-county region of Western Colorado. The organization operates 13 offices for outpatient treatments as well as the West Springs Hospital, the only facility of its kind between Denver and Salt Lake City.

Until Allen Unique Autos closed in 2015, the Grand Junction operation housed under one roof Allen’s collection of rare, vintage and unique automobiles. The collection included a number of vehicles owned by celebrities, including two 1966 Ford Mustangs customized for performers Sonny and Cher as well as a Rolls Royce once owned by actor Nicholas Cage. The collection also included a government ambulance believed to have transported the body of President John Kennedy following his assassination in 1963.

Allen and Allen Unique Autos supported a range of local organizations, among them the Girl Scouts, Mesa County United Way and Salvation Army. In 2013, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce selected Allen Unique Autos as its Small Business of the Year in recognition of its community service.

In 2015, Allen Unique Autos raised more than $25,000 for the Veteran’s Art Center by raffling off a restored 1967 Ford Mustang Allen bought for the fund-raiser and commissioned a custom red, white and blue paint job.