Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Profile: New Car Dealers Foundation of BC / Special Olympics Auction Committee

4 June 2015

B.C.’s New Car Dealers have been making a difference with Special Olympics BC for more than 30 years. The 2015 New Car Dealers Foundation of BC / Special Olympics Auction showed the relationship is going strong, as Dealers and supporters donated the greatest number of items yet in order to raise funds for Special Olympics and the work of the New Car Dealers Foundation. The 2015 auction raised nearly $187,000, bringing the three-decade total to nearly $4.4 million.

This highly successful event is powered by a dedicated committee comprised of volunteer members working with Special Olympics BC and New Car Dealers Foundation staff. The volunteer members have given countless hours to the auction in order to support the charities. They generously seek out auction items, encourage bidding, and provide strong guidance and insights that have made the event succeed and grow over the last 28 years.

The current volunteer auction committee members are Manse Binkley of Harmony Honda and Harmony Acura, Doug Bower of The Vancouver Sun and The Province, Marnie Carter of Carter Auto Family, John Chesman, Pamela Keith of Dueck Auto Group, Dave Meyerink of Harris Auto Group, Joe Mitchell of Carter Auto Family, and John Wynia of Harbourview Volkswagen.

Binkley has been involved with the auction for more than 12 years, and has contributed and initiated countless donations that have raised significant funds for the charities. Binkley, President of Harmony Honda and Harmony Acura, is motivated by a desire to help others, feeling that he has been very fortunate in life and wishing to give back.

Bower, Multi-Media Consultant for the Sun and Province, is a long-standing champion of the auction and its beneficiary charities, particularly in the media community. He has helped raise thousands of dollars through media donations to the auction and frequently looks for other ways to support Special Olympics BC. He believes in the athletes and the movement and is a valued friend to our organization.

Carter and her family are icons to SOBC, as outstanding supporters of Special Olympics for 31 years. The late Howard Carter was instrumental in getting B.C.’s New Car Dealers involved with SOBC, beginning the three-decade relationship that has had a huge impact on Special Olympics in B.C., and Marnie Carter and their son James have powered the family tradition of strong support right up to today.

Chesman, also a longtime supporter of SOBC and past chairman of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C., provides unstinting support with his committee work, his generous donations and bids on items, and his willingness to encourage others to get involved. Chesman says he has been very moved by the incredible abilities and stories of Special Olympics athletes.

Keith and her family are active supporters of SOBC at all levels of the organization. Keith herself is an outstanding champion of the auction who also gives her time as Past Chair of SOBC’s Board of Directors, as a member of the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament organizing committee, and even as a volunteer with the SOBC – Delta rhythmic gymnastics program coached by her daughter Courtney. She makes a huge difference for Special Olympics athletes through so many direct and indirect ways.

Meyerink, the General Manager of Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, is a relatively new member of the auction committee and an active and engaged supporter. He contributes great creativity and ideas for new ways to expand the auction’s reach and engage even more Dealers, a critical aspect for the ongoing success of this event that means so much to SOBC and the New Car Dealers Foundation.

Chairman of the Carter Auto Group, Mitchell has been supporting SOBC for 29 years, serving as a driving force in the auction and helping build the Howard Carter Fund, SOBC’s largest endowment fund. Mitchell sees that Special Olympics makes every athlete feel like a winner, and values being part of the positive experiences.

Wynia has been involved with SOBC for 15 years, generously giving both of his time and support as a member of the auction committee, and as a sponsor of SOBC events such as the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament. Having seen what sport experiences bring into lives and the impact on communities, he believes sincerely in what Special Olympics is all about and feels it’s “really inspirational” to watch the athletes set goals, strive to challenges themselves, and grow.

SOBC and the New Car Dealers Foundation extend sincere thanks to the auction committee and to everyone who supported the 2015 auction. We look forward to continued success in 2016. To get involved, please contact Christina Hadley, SOBC Vice President, Fund Development & Communications, at 604-737-3073 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free / chadley@specialolympics.bc.ca.

This article originally appeared in the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. publication Signals. With this series SOBC is turning the spotlight on individual dealers who so generously support our athletes and our organization.

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