Newcastle Shell owners aim to give back with fundraiser
May 31, 2012
By Christina Lords
The Newcastle Shell station only has two stalls.
But owner Dennis Yarnell doesn’t view that as a limitation.
To him, it’s an opportunity to provide more one-on-one interaction with his customers.
In March, Yarnell celebrated the fifth anniversary of him and his wife Beth purchasing the station from its previous owner. Since then, he’s instituted several practices to bring back the feel of a service station of old.
He makes it a point to learn the names of his customers and even offers Free Full Service Fridays, where customers can honk their horn and someone from the station will pump their gas, and check their oil and tire pressure.
After the Newcastle community has given so much to him, Yarnell said he feels it’s time to give something back.
That’s one of the reasons why he and Newcastle Shell employee Joe Woo began organizing the first Newcastle Shell Charity Golf Event to benefit the Fisher House Foundation Veterans of America charity organization.
“It’s really a neighborhood thing here,” Woo said. “About 90 percent of the people that come in here, we know by a first-name basis. That’s just the way Dennis does business.”
Yarnell’s father, a Marine who served in Vietnam, committed suicide last year after battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for years.
“It was hard on us,” he said. “It was me and him growing up. I think people don’t know how serious PTSD can be. It kind of just gets brushed under the rug.”
The golf tournament will begin at 8 a.m. June 16 at The Golf Club at Newcastle. The deadline for registration is June 1.
Winners can win prizes, including an oil change, Shell gift cards and a summer vehicle maintenance check.
Yarnell said he’s known he wanted to be a mechanic since he was a sophomore in high school.
“Five years ago, the opportunity opened up for me to own my own business,” he said. “That meant a lot to me. We’re trying to grow the shop and that’s really where I feel like I have the most control over what we do and what we become.”
The station, which offers repair and maintenance of foreign and domestic vehicles, offers him a chance to give young mechanics who are still studying at places like the Renton Technical College a start in the business like he got, Yarnell said.
“The small business really is still the heart of America,” he said. “We’re trying to do more things to keep the community involved, like starting a car show and having customer appreciation barbecues, things like that.”
Call Yarnell or Woo at Newcastle Shell at 255-2754 for information about the tournament or how you can help.
Register for the tournament at https://tournaments.okigolf.com/EventInfo.aspx?E=756602.