By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal
Graham’s Towing, which started out in the back of a Chevron gas station on the corner of Whittier Boulevard and Euclid Street, has been devoted to giving back to the La Habra community for the past 36 years in so much more than just towing cars.
The emergency road service was bought from Bill Graham in 1979 by a local college student in his early twenties, trusted to pay it off as he could.
The Chevron and Graham’s employees at the time knew Graham as a man who always wanted to help people.
He was known to hire teenagers when he didn’t even need help; he just wanted to give them a chance and a little work experience.
“Bill told me I should buy Graham’s Towing from him, which I didn’t think was possible considering how young I was,” said Graham’s Towing owner Danny Hanson. “When the bank wouldn’t give me a loan, Bill told me to just dispatch the business out of the front lobby of the gas station, keep the trucks in the back, and pay him back whenever I could. He took a chance on a young kid. I owe everything to Bill Graham.”
It was Graham’s giving and trusting nature that inspired Hanson to dedicate his business and his own personal time to giving back to the community.
Hanson and his wife Ofelia have been volunteering throughout the community in every way they can since he started the business.
Hanson is on the Board of Directors for Help for Brain Injured Children (HBIC), a member of the La Habra Police Department’s K9 Foundation, and he annually donates trucks to city events such as the Corn Festival Parade.
Also intent on giving back to the community, Ofelia is the Director of Educational Service at the Boys & Girls Club and the 2015-2016 president of the La Habra Host Lions Club. She is also a member of the Boys & Girls Club Alumni Association and was elcted to the La Habra City School District board of directors last year.
“When I was a kid at the Boys & Girls Club, I benefited from various scholarships and donations from the Lions Club,” said Ofelia. “Now it’s my time to give back.”
Ofelia is in charge of the after-school programs for nine different schools at the Boys & Girls Club.
As Lions Club president, she stays on task with projects in community service and fundraising. “Last year, we were able to give about $60,000 back to the community. It’s pretty fantastic,” she said.
The Hansons maintain their spirit of giving back in everything they do.
“Anyone that comes through the door of Graham’s Towing, we always do what we can to help,” said Ofelia.
Both she and Danny are really devoted to better the La Habra community and show appreciation for all the community has done for them.
“When Bill was dying, I told him that I will never change the name of Graham’s Towing,” said Hanson. “He was like a father to me. He taught me how important it is to help people, and I will always be grateful for that.”