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Golden anniversary celebration held for City Tire

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City Tire Inc. in Henderson, N.C., turned 50 this year.

The company is now run by the sons and daughters of company founder John Rainey. Mike Rainey is president, Ray Rainey is vice president, Patricia Frazier is secretary and Rebecca Aycock is treasurer.

City Tire held an anniversary party to mark the half-century of business which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Henderson's Mayor Clem Seifert.

"I think this celebration speaks very clearly about the success a person can achieve if he gives back to his community and industry as well as takes from it," said John Rainey.

Rainey was active in the American Retreaders Association and the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association (now combined into the Tire Industry Association) while operating his business, which started out as City Tire Recappers in 1956.

The company opened locations in Oxford and Louisburg, N.C., and South Hill, Va., reported the local newspaper The Daily Dispatch. All three locations were later sold.

The company's name was changed to City Tire Inc. in 1986.

Over the years, Rainey used innovative marketing ideas to gain customers, such as turkey giveaways and a "Mystery Millionaire" contest in which the winner won $83.28 (the interest at the time earned on $1 million for 12 hours).

These are good illustrations of "all the innovative things a person can do, even in a small town, to make his business successful -- successful to the extent that he can start with practically noting and end up celebrating such a great golden anniversary," Rainey said.

Rainey and his family also have been active in their community, giving time to the Henderson Merchants Association, Henderson Board of Education and the First Methodist Church.

"I've always told my people it's more important to make friends out of customers than customers out of friends," Rainey told the newspaper.

He added, "If you are going to be successful, you've got to be aware of what is going on in your chosen business profession in Henderson, in Raleigh, in Washington and everywhere."

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