Winnipeg Free Press

Car dealers show Christmas spirit in a big way

by Myron Love  . Dec 23 2016

Manitoba car dealers are once again bringing the turkeys for Christmas dinner, for thousands of families and individuals who are down on their luck. Siloam Mission, Willow Place, 1 Just City, Agape Table and Winnipeg Harvest are all among the beneficiaries of thousands of turkeys from Walt Morris’s Winnipeg Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram — located in the Pointe West Autopark — and from his Automotive Pre-Owned Super Centre in the Waverley Automall.

And, as it did last year, the Crown Dilawri Group of Companies (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 made turkey for Christmas a reality for many needy families in Winnipeg.

The auto group set aside as much as $50 from every vehicle sold from late November until mid-December for its “Let’s Talk Turkey” campaign.

Last year, the campaign paid for 1,800 turkeys with hampers, which staff members dropped off at the Christmas Cheer Board.

This year, the figure was closer to 2,000.

The auto group also donated the money raised from the silent auction at this year’s Christmas party, and all proceeds from drinks sold at the party, to the Siloam Mission.

The Vickar Auto Group (consisting of Vickar Community Chevrolet, Vickar Mitsubishi and Waverley Mitsubishi, plus the body shop, Vickar Auto Body & Glass) is helping five families through the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program.

The folks at Vickar are collecting items from the staff to fill holiday hampers for each family. The dealerships also donated vans to the Salvation Army, the Feed My Lambs mobile food bank and a couple of Kinsmen Clubs for December for their holiday hamper deliveries — with Vickar staff helping with the Kinsmen deliveries.

Furthermore, Vickar staff pulled a Santa sleigh around Transcona in the week before Christmas — and the staff, working together with the Transcona Rotary, once again volunteered their time for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre.

Murray Chevrolet donated a new 2016 Chevrolet Equinox to the Salvation Army over the holidays to support its Toy Mountain Kettle Campaign and deliver gifts and needed items to individuals and families over the holiday season.

The Chevrolet dealership and sister store Murray Hyundai also donated fresh turkeys to Siloam Mission.

Mid-Town Ford staff personally delivered several hampers full of food, cash and toys to 10 families through the Christmas Cheer Board and the Salvation Army. Each sales rep “adopted” a family.

The dealership also once again provided a van to the Salvation Army to help the organization deliver volunteers to their locations for the Sally Ann’s Christmas Red Shield Appeal.

St. James Volkswagen/Audi, as usual, filled a vehicle trunk with food and gifts for the Christmas Cheer board and contributed funds raised at the annual Christmas party to support a family through the Cheer Board.

Auto Haus Volkswagen/Porsche raised money from a silent auction at the staff Christmas party to donate to the Christmas Cheer Board.

The staff at both Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg and Focus Hyundai delivered 16 food hampers this year to the Christmas Cheer Board.

In conjunction with the Kiwanis Club of St. Vital/St. Boniface, Frontier Toyota’s management and staff collected food for Winnipeg Harvest and delivered the hampers.

The dealership also raised money for the Siloam Mission and made a financial contribution to the Salvation Army for Christmas.

Jim Pattison Subaru Winnipeg staff supplied a basket of food and gifts for an area family and collected food for Winnipeg Harvest.

Frontier Subaru is again donating hampers through the Christmas Cheer Board.

Winnipeg Hyundai is contributing cash donations and unwrapped presents to the Christmas Cheer Board and Siloam Mission. Most of the cash was raised through a silent auction at the dealership’s annual staff Christmas party.

Staff delivered Christmas presents to needy families. The dealership also collected baby food and tins for the bin for Winnipeg Harvest.

Gerry Gordon Mazda again donated a van for December as well as between $1,200 and $1,300, which was raised at the annual Christmas party, to the Salvation Army.

On Thursday, December 8, ADESA Winnipeg raised close to $35,000 at the second annual “Fund a Food Basket” fundraiser for Winnipeg Harvest.

Staff members, dealers and others in the industry were invited to contribute $100 a person per basket. Last year, the event raised $22,000.

In Steinbach, Ledingham GM provided presents and food through the Christmas Cheer Board for three large, single parent families and held a diaper drive for the SouthEast Helping Hands food bank – providing customers who brought in boxes of diapers with a free for oil change.

In Brandon, Murray Auto centre staff and management provided three large families with hampers and presents, held a 50-50 draw at the annual Christmas party -- with funds going to Christmas Cheer Board -- donated $1 from every customer oil change throughout the year to Samaritan House and the Helping Hands Soup Kitchen and, once again partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to provide a vehicle for the month of December for the Westman Christmas Dinner organizers. (As many as 5,000 Brandon residents participate in this annual Christmas dinner which all Brandon dealers support.) The auto group and Brandon’s 4-Wheel Club also organized a toy drive for the Cheer Board.

Kelleher Ford in Brandon delivered five half-ton truckloads of food to Samaritan House. The dealership carried out the food drive in conjunction with three Brandon area schools.

The Forman Dealerships in Brandon – Brandon Chrysler, Forman Honda and Forman Mazda - made a substantial donation to the United Way from funds donated by staff and matched by the ownership.

In Portage La Prairie, Craig Dunn Motor City in Portage donated a hamper through the Salvation Army.

In Gimli, Chudd’s Chrysler, Giesbrecht and Sons and Gimli Auto teamed up to provide the Christmas Cheer Board with drivers and vehicles to deliver hampers to needy families for Christmas. They also supported the community’s Red Nose program. And Giesbrecht and Sons made a monetary donation for an annual seniors Christmas dinner in Riverton and a donation to the Gimli Evergreen Foundation towards their Christmas hamper fund.

And to all of Manitoba’s auto dealer and to all my readers, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!




Dealer of the Week


Sales Rep: Jesse Smith

Dealership: St. James Volkswagen

No. of Years: Four

Favourite Model: Volkswagen Passat

Why: “I like the fit and finish of the Passat,” Smith says. “I like the ride. And I like the practicality. Anyone can fit in the back seat and there is a lot of room in the back for my golf bags.”