Selkirk auto dealer riding for a great cause
STEELTOWN Ford dealer principal Jason Sargent is getting geared up for the annual Ride for Rehab, a snowmobile ride in memory of his late brother, Scott. The ride is scheduled for Feb. 18 to 21 and raises money for the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.
“Scott (who passed away in 2004) loved snowmobiling and children,” said Jason Sargent. “This year’s route will take my son Owen and I, my best friend, Troy, as well as other friends and riders on two full days of sledding adventures on the pristine trails of the Riding Mountain National Park.”
Riders, he says, are responsible for all costs involved in the trip. Sargent added the ride promotes a responsible and healthy image for snowmobilers while supporting special needs children in Manitoba.
The Children’s Rehabilitation Centre is Manitoba’s main core service for more than 15,000 children and their families. The centre assists children with special needs such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, autism, amputations, spina bifida, scoliosis, FASD and communication, neurological, feeding and bone disorders to name a few.
Funds raised from the ride are used to purchase customized equipment needed by these children so they can live with greater independence and ability. Some of the equipment purchased in the past includes light-weight wheelchairs, wheelchair cushions, communication devices, computers with custom access controls, customized bikes that enable children to get out of their wheel chairs and more.
“All donations we raise will be donated to the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation in the memory of Scott and will be spent on children in need in the Selkirk, St Andrews, Birds Hill, Stonewall and surrounding areas. Our efforts over the years have raised over $200,000 for Scott’s Memorial Fund. It is because of the generosity of our supporters that there is not one child in this area that is on a waiting list at The Children’s Rehabilitation Centre,” Sargent said.
To make a donation, you can visit steeltownford.com and click on the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation link at the bottom of the page. Donations can also be made by cheque (dropped off or mailed to Steeltown Ford) or credit card.
GM dealer busier than ever
Over the past two years, Selkirk Chevrolet Pontiac Buick GMC has been one of the fastest growing General Motors dealers in Manitoba. Dealer principal Don Walters reports sales in 2014 were 134 per cent higher than in 2013 and a 116 per cent growth in sales last year over 2014.
Walters attributes the dealership’s success over the past two years to the introduction of a new data collection system and processes, more digital marketing and use of social media and having the right people in place. He took a moment to single out general sales manager Diane Little and new car sales manager Kelly Balmer.
Balmer assumed her new office at the beginning of January after a successful sales career at the Selkirk store. She began her career in auto sales in 2006 at a Winnipeg GM store. After taking a break from the industry, she signed on at Selkirk Chevrolet five years ago. She was most recently the dealership’s business manager. Little has been part of the Selkirk Chev sales team for 15 years and general sales manager for the past two years. “We may be the only auto dealer in Canada with two women as part of our management team,” said Walters.
His son, Matt Walters, completes the management team. The younger Walters is the used car manager.
Don Walters is a second generation General Motors dealer who took over his father’s dealership in Emerson 30 years ago. In 1989, Walters moved to Selkirk and became the dealer principal at Newport Pontiac Buick. In 2004, he purchased Harris Chevrolet Oldsmobile, Selkirk’s Chevrolet dealer — and subsequently combined the two GM stores under one roof at its current location at 1010 Manitoba Ave. on Selkirk’s auto row.