Dianne Craig, president & CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada was in Sault Ste. Marie Friday to celebrate one of its most community minded dealerships in Canada, Maitland Ford Lincoln.
Ford operates 426 stores across Canada, Maitland Motors is one of them. Maitland Lewis started the business 32 years ago and has since grown it to be one of the city’s largest. The locally owned 2nd generation store has supported numerous charities over the years through its drive5 campaigns helping out local schools and other organizations over the years raise funds.
Craig told a crowd gathered in the bright showroom about the company’s history and what founder, Henry Ford always believed, “a business that only makes money is a poor business because he felt so strong that it was all about giving back to the community” Craig said. One of their initiatives was the We Scare Hunger campaign explained Craig.
In the month of October, Ford collaborating with St. Mary’s College and Sault College students collected non-perishable items for the “We Scare Hunger” campaign. Students dropped off 500 paper bags to the surrounding community, asking for donations of non-perishable food items. On October 29th, Sault College and SMC students picked up these donations and filled Maitland Ford Trucks to brim and delivered over 6,000 cans of food. The donations remained local and were distributed to the Salvation Army, St. Vincent’s, Pauline’s Place, Women In Crisis, The Soup Kitchen and the Sault College Student Union Food Bank.
“Free the Children and Ford Canada are here in the Sault to recognize our students’ efforts and achievements and we couldn’t be prouder of them” says Mario Rocchetta, Teacher, General Arts and Science.
Craig was there to personally thank the Lewis family and their dedication to the community and to announce that out of the 426 stores across Canada, Maitland Ford was the winning store in this food drive.
Spencer West, representing Free The Children lost both his legs to a genetic defect when he was a small boy. He and his family were told that he would never be able to be able to sit up by himself or walk by himself and probably wouldn’t be a functioning member of society. He and his family would have nothing of that, “I can make the world a better place too regardless how big or small we are and we all have the ability and responsibility to do so ” West said. He went through a normal life finishing school and university but decided he wasn’t happy. That’s when he discovered the Feed The Children team on a volunteer trip to Kenya for the organization.
He became inspired by the work that the Canadian based humanitarian organization was doing and how it improving the lives of Children and families around the world. Speaking to the crowd, West said, “One of the reasons why I wanted to join the organization , I wanted to meet the incredible folks who are working so hard to make the world a better place and you people here in the Sault are an incredible example of that”
Mayor Christian Provenzano joined the celebration to thank the partnerships involved in the local initiative. “Kindness is really at the base of all good things that happen” Provenzano said and yes he pointed out that he drives a Ford Truck.
“We know that a lot of families face hunger right here in our local community,” said Judith Kovala, Dealership Operations, Maitland Ford. “We’re so proud to be able to make an impact in the lives of those less fortunate – to help them meet basic needs and provide them with one less worry so they can focus on other things that matter.”
Kovala joked that they had to pull over to fill the tires of the vehicles because of the weight of the all the cans collected.
Craig added ” Maitland Ford Lincoln, it’s a role model for our organization for the Ford Motor Company”