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Manitoba dealers spread Christmas cheer

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Auto Haus staff with Christmas gifts for the Cheer Board.

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Murray Chevrolet vehicle pulls the sleigh in Santa Claus Parade.

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St. James Volkswagen/Audi's Fill Our Trunk campaign for the Christmas Cheer Board gets its first donation.


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Every year at Christmas, Manitoba auto dealers do their part to spread Christmas cheer and help make Christmas a little merrier for disadvantaged families.

In Winnipeg, dealers channel most of their Christmas giving through the Christmas Cheer Board, the Salvation Army and Winnipeg Harvest.

For the second year in a row, the Dilawri Automotive Group (Winnipeg Honda, Sunshine Toyota, Crown Acura, Crown Nissan, Crown Honda, Crown Mazda, WAM Collision Centre, Automax Pre-Owned Supercenter, GAS Performance and D-Max), has rolled out its "Dilawri Feeds Winnipeg" campaign for Winnipeg Harvest.

Staff at each of the stores filled a vehicle with non-perishable food items, Yesterday, they formed a convoy to deliver the food to Winnipeg Harvest, with one of the staff dressed as Santa Claus leading the way. The Dilawri Group also donated money raised from a silent auction at their staff Christmas party to the Siloam Mission. St. James Volkswagen/Audi also got into the spirit, donating 10 per cent of every oil change during December and proceeds from a silent auction at their staff party to the Christmas Cheer Board.

The dealership also filled up two vans with toys and non-perishable food items and delivered those gifts to the Cheer Board last Friday.

Each year, Auto Haus Volkswagen/Porsche raises money from a silent auction at the staff Christmas party to donate to the Cheer Board. This year, that amounted to $5,000. Auto Haus also filled up a Volkswagen Eos in the showroom with presents to donate to the Cheer Board.

The Vickar Auto Group (Vickar Community Chevrolet, Vickar Mitsubishi and Waverley Mitsubishi, as well as Vickar Auto Body & Glass) are helping five families through the Salvation Army's Adopt a Family program by filling holiday hampers with items donated by staff.

The dealerships on Regent also donated vans to the Salvation Army and a couple of Kinsmen Clubs this month for their holiday hamper deliveries. Vickar staff helped with the Kinsmen deliveries and, working with Transcona Rotary, also volunteered to staff the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre.

For the 12th year in a row, Jim Gauthier Chevrolet Cadillac made two vans available to the Cheer Board to transport supplies and donations. For the 14 days leading up to Christmas, Gauthier staff are also delivering hampers to needy families around the city during the evening.

Gauthier Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Waverley Chrysler Dodge Jeep have donated vans to the Cheer Board from the middle of November to after Christmas, as they've done for the past 16 years. As well, Waverley Chrysler held a raffle and silent auction for staff and customers, with funds going to a needy family the dealership has sponsored for the past few years as well as to the Cheer Board.

Murray Chevrolet collected non-perishable food items for Winnipeg Harvest all this month, made two vehicles available to the Salvation Army for food and parcel deliveries and donated turkeys to Siloam Mission.

For many years, Birchwood Keystone Ford has worked with the Salvation Army to identify families in need. Each year, the dealership puts together six hampers, including turkey, dry goods and other items, which staff then distribute.

River City Ford again 'adopted' two single-parent families through the Christmas Cheer Board Feed a Family program and, in January, will be collecting winter clothing for the Koats for Kids program.

Landau Ford Lincoln once again filled up an F150 truck with toys for the Salvation Army and the Cheer Board, while Parkside Ford provided turkey hampers through the Youth for Christ program and donated a vehicle to an independent organization to deliver hampers.

Mid-Town Ford staff delivered several hampers full of food, cash and toys through the Cheer Board. The dealership also once again provided two vans to the Salvation Army to transport volunteers for their Christmas Red Shield Appeal.

Mercedes Benz Winnipeg is again sponsoring a food hamper through Winnipeg Harvest and made significant donations to The Children's Hospital for the Ice Crystal Gala and to Winnipeg Harvest's Empty Bowls Fundraiser.

For the 12th year in a row, Birchwood Honda on Regent "adopted" a family and a senior citizen for the holidays, while Birchwood Honda West once again provided a food hamper for a single-parent family and gifts for the kids.

McPhillips Toyota sales staff donated money for the Cheer Board at the dealership's annual Christmas party, with the dealer principals, the Cornwall family, matching these contributions.

Frontier Toyota's management and staff filled a pick-up truck several times with groceries for Winnipeg Harvest, raised money for Siloam Mission and delivered hampers in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club of St. Vital/St. Boniface. Frontier Subaru is again donating hampers through the Cheer Board and made a financial contribution to the Salvation Army for Christmas.

Gerry Gordon Mazda donated money raised at the annual Christmas Party to the Salvation Army, while Winnipeg Hyundai filled up a vehicle in its showroom with non-perishable food items and dropped it off at Winnipeg Harvest.

Focus Hyundai once again sent toys and cash to the Cheer Board and also made a cash donation to the Salvation Army for Christmas. This year, the dealership also made out a cheque to Kidsport Canada, which helps underprivileged kids participate in different sports

ADESA Winnipeg also held its annual "coats for kids" drive (as well as collecting mitts, tuques and scarves this year) and distributed the winter clothing through the United Way. The vehicle auction house also held a food drive for Winnipeg Harvest in conjunction with Shaw and Campbell Foods, and held several charity auctions with the proceeds going towards Christmas parties for disadvantaged people.

For Steinbach Dodge Chrysler's Christmas party, staff members brought a cash donation for Anna's House. Steinbach auto dealers support the Helping Hands food bank with Christmas hampers.

In Brandon, Murray Auto Centre staff and management held a 50-50 draw at the annual Christmas party with funds going to the city's Cheer Board, and also partnered with Brandon's 4-Wheel Club to organize a toy drive.

The Chevy dealer also once again partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to provide a vehicle for the month of December to Westman Christmas Dinner organizers.

Kelleher Ford collected Cheer Board donations in trucks in the showroom and in the drive-thru, and all Brandon dealers provided hampers for disadvantaged families through the city's Cheer Board and helped out Operation Red Nose with vehicles.

Craig Dunn Motor City in Portage once again provided a vehicle to the local Salvation Army for use as a "Santa Van", and staff members brought in new unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items for the charity's Jingle Bell Breakfast. Selkirk, Gimli and Portage La Prairie dealers all supported Operation Red Nose programs in their communities.

The Manitoba Used Cars Dealers Association contributes to the Cheer Board and Siloam Mission every year. The MUCDA also donated $3,500 this year to the Walls of Freedom, an inner-city ministry.