It was a lunch outing James Dyck won’t soon forget.
The Salmon Arm man was the recipient of this year’s Shuswap Christmas Car Giveaway, an annual event in which local businesses Braby Motors, SASCU, Kal Tire and Fix Auto Collision partner to provide a nominated Shuswap resident with the gift of a refurbished vehicle.
Dyck, a former Emergency Medical Technician with Chase Fire Rescue, was nominated to receive the vehicle by friend Chris Welyk. To keep the giveaway a surprise, Welyk invited Dyck out for lunch on Monday, Dec. 13, with a stop at Braby Motors supposedly to check out a Dodge Charger Hellcat.
“He went through some real tough times in his life and he’s helped the community a lot too on his end as an EMT, and you know, I think sometimes it’s just nice to give and help someone out who is in need,” said Welyk.
Dyck, accompanied by daughter Cadence Trottier, was overwhelmed by the surprise.
“There are things that I have out of town now for what I’m going through – it’s going to make it a lot easier; I don’t have to worry about it,” said Dyck. “Also, just doing things with my kid, especially when I have those rough days, it’s always nice to go out and pick up my daughter and go out and have fun.”
Included with this year’s vehicle, a 2012 Jeep Patriot, is a year’s insurance provided by SASCU, fuel cards and winter and summer tires on rims.
“The reason that we do it is we obviously want to change a family’s life, give them safe, reliable transportation,” said Braby Motors’ Justin Braby. “But we also want to inspire others to do kind things this time of the year or any time of the year.”
In a related media release, Dan Burt, general manager at the Salmon Arm Kal Tire, explained while it’s difficult to choose among the nominees, he looks forward to being part of the giveaway each year.
“Everyone faces hardships in their lives,” said Derick Miller, general manager of Fix Auto. “It’s great for our team to see the work we do make such a difference.”
“This annual event truly reflects the spirit of community in working together to help make a difference in the lives’ of others,” commented Barry Delaney, SASCU’s chief executive officer. “We wish James and his family a bright holiday season and all the best in the new year.”
Each November, the partnering businesses put out a call for nominations of someone whose life would be meaningfully impacted by the gift of a refurbished vehicle. One story is selected by a committee of the sponsors whose businesses share in the process and cost of getting the vehicle ready for the giveaway.
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EMT retired first responder for Chase Fire Rescue