It was a combination of wanting to give back to the community and hearing stories of children in need that touched the charitable heart of the OpenRoad organization.
It began with a company-wide fund-raising golf tournament several years ago, when the OpenRoad Auto Group — comprising18 car dealerships representing 20 automobile brands in B.C. — decided to donate funds to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which arranges experiences for seriously ill children.
OpenRoad then expanded its largesse to include KidSport, a non-profit which is dedicated to providing children with opportunities to play sports.
And last month, for the second year in a row, OpenRoad also included The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund in its charitable umbrella, presenting the Adopt-a-School initiative with a generous $12,000 cheque.
Brad Beckett, general manager of OpenRoad Audi Boundary, says including Adopt-a-School in its donation portfolio just makes sense for their organization, especially once he and others in the OpenRoad fold started hearing about the AAS initiative to help the neediest of B.C.’s school children, thousands of whom go to school everyday lacking healthy meals and the basics of life.
“We wanted to make sure our charities were centred around children,” said Beckett, “and help the communities in our backyard. (AAS) is fantastic and it filled our criteria.”
He said it’s hard to hear about some of the stories the paper has told over the seven years since AAS began, and to be able “to help kids with the basic needs, like hot lunches, is just so important.”
OpenRoad, he added, wants its donation to go to feeding B.C. school children, wherever the need exists, given the importance of food security and a healthy diet as vital underpinnings for a child’s success in school, and in life.
“I’m a big believer that education is an escape from poverty,” said Beckett.
By Shelley Fralic (firstname.lastname@example.org)