Companies involved in the Canadian automotive aftermarket have contributed more than $4 million to the Tsunami Relief Efforts. On behalf of the aftermarket industry, AIA presented a cheque to the Canadian Red Cross in the amount of $22,227, which was raised directly in less than three days. As a result of urging from members of the Canadian automotive aftermarket, the Automotive Industries Association of Canada and Jobbers News, SSGM, and Autoserviceworld.com coordinated efforts to help raise funds for the Tsunamis stricken region in Asia. Gates Canada ignited the industry with a $1000 challenge which was quickly met by companies such as Zurawel Patton Sample, Ultra Fit Exhaust Systems and a number of warehouse distributors and jobber stores. "Zurawel Patton Sample is very pleased to note that AIA has stepped in to coordinate this fundraising effort. We will be matching the challenge amount set by Gates Canada," responded Gord Patton within minutes of receiving the AIA advisory regarding the Tsunami. "AIA knew that if each AIA member were to make a donation, the aftermarket industry could make a significant contribution to the tsunami relief effort," said AIA President Ray Datt. "The area hit by the tsunami is in such great need and will be for years to come, many aftermarket companies felt the need to take some sort of action. AIA and Jobber News felt that the most efficient and effective thing to do is to work with a respected and experienced agency like the Red Cross." "The more than $22,000 donated to the Red Cross was primarily raised as a result of jobber contributions," says Jobber News Editor and Publisher Andrew Ross. "Jobbers are an important member and contributor to their local economy, I think they understood more than everyone else how this natural disaster would impact the small and rural communities hit by the disaster." A number of members also raised money on their own for the relief effort. Lordco staff raised over $5000 in the first few days after the disaster. "I am going to match dollar for dollar what the staff contributes," indicated Lordco President Ed Coates. "I expect we will raise over $25,000." Piston Ring Service in Winnipeg allowed its employees to donate through payroll deduction regardless of the amount; it also let employees convert vacation and overtime accruals into actual dollars. Some of its employee’s children shovelled snow to raise money. Piston Ring also collected funds from some of its local manufacturing representatives who wanted to get involved. Piston Ring chose the Mennonite Central Committee for its donation because they are an on-the-ground, hands-on, grassroots charity with an ongoing physical presence in the area. "We are very proud of the way our employees joined together to raise funds and are pleased to report that our final donation, including matching funds from head office, exceeded $10,000," says Piston Rings John Tennant. Many people made personal donations, such as Debra and Bruce Hague who made their donation in loving memory of William Forrester Taylor. "AIA was also proud to see that so many of its large member companies, who are multinationals, had fuelled the tsunami relief efforts by making significant contributions," stated Ray Datt. "Great idea for the AIA to raise funds for the Tsunami relief effort. I just wanted to let you know that as a global company with operations in that part of the world Shell (including subsidiary Pennzoil Quaker State) has decided to make a $1 million donation to the relief effort," says Owen McManamon, Pennzoil Quaker State. "I am pleased to announce that the Board of Executive Directors of BASF Aktiengesellschaft has already announced that BASF will provide $1 million in immediate aid and, in addition, has promised to match employee contributions made through January 31, 2005," said BASF Canada President John Clarke. "Here in Canada, we have selected the Canadian Red Cross to handle our employee contributions and ensure that those contributions are matched by BASF Canada." "Immediately following the first news reports, we began to account for employees and contact clients in the affected areas. Within hours, we deployed IBM Crisis Response Teams in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand to assist local governments and relief organizations," said IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmissano. "These teams are prepared, skilled and authorized to coordinate IBM’s response to situations like this one. Our support in Asia includes hardware, software and, most important, our expertise, which are being applied to the design and implementation of systems for tracking missing persons, fatality data, logistics management, donation management, volunteer coordination and unique government social and financial support systems. Our teams are building systems and solutions that can be applied across agencies and the affected countries. We are also working directly with United Nations agencies and international relief organizations to help coordinate technology support. I authorized a preliminary allocation of $1 million to support these relief efforts." "Honeywell will donate $1 million to assist with relief efforts in the areas most severely damaged by last week’s disaster. The donation, made through Honeywell Hometown Solutions, will target programs to rebuild damaged and destroyed communities and provide basic necessities for survivors," explained Honeywell CEO Dave Cote. "Several Honeywell employee teams from around the world have already united in volunteer efforts. A Honeywell team from Bangalore, India, is supporting a 90-day construction effort to rebuild 50 houses in one of the most severely affected villages. Separately, each of Honeywell’s 1,500 employees in Pune, India, has agreed to donate one day’s salary to relief efforts. Teams of employees have also delivered clothes, utensils, and other basic amenities to the affected village of Kulachol, India." "I know everyone in the Canadian automotive aftermarket industry joins me in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of people who are suffering as a result of the catastrophe," says Datt. "In the coming weeks and month, if the disaster relief teams require any kind of automotive aftermarket expertise in the rebuilding effort, we would be happy to coordinate a volunteer effort."
The AIA, Jobber News Magazine, SSGM and Autoserviceworld.com would like to thank the following companies and individuals for making a contribution to the Automotive Aftermarket Tsunami Relief Effort:
Action Automotive & Towing Accesoires d’autos Roberval (1986) lte Aero P.R. Services Ltd AIA Manitoba Division Auto Atlantic Magazine (ALFERS ADVERTISING) Amin Zaman, AZ-Co International Andrew Ross, Jobber News Magazine A-Star Automotive Recyclers Ltd Auto Sense Auto Parts Automotive Parts Centres Corp, Vicky Baroudi B&B Dixon Automotive Inc. BASE Automotive Bruce & Debra Hague Bumper to Bumper Hanna Chieftain Auto Parts (1987) Inc. D&T Auto Parts Ltd Dempster’s Automotive Supplies Ltd Excel Sales Exide Canada Inc. Gates Canada Inc. Gorwood Automotive McArthur’s Automotive & Supply Ltd., Gwen McArthur Hood Hardware and Automotive Ltd Industrial Supplies Ltd John Morris, Marcovitch Public Relations John Vanstone, Specialty Sales & Marketing Keith Gordon, Specialty Sales & Marketing Ken Coulter, Specialty Sales & Marketing Lavoie & Beaudry Inc. Lisa McClelland, NAPA Canada Loran Faraday, Exide Canada Inc. Marc Brazeau, AIA Canada Mike Bryan, Michael Bryan & Associates Paint FX Autobody & Parcoll Products Limited Parts Unlimited Inc. Phillipe Sirois, NAPA Canada Pico of Canada Ltd Pices d’auto Blouin & Roy Inc. Pieces d’Auto Leon Grenier Inc. Pieces d’auto MB7 Inc. Pieces d’autos B.L. Pieces d’auto d e la Baie, Marcel Mercier Pieces d’auto S.M. Inc., Serge Millette R.A.D. Limited Rayner’s Automotive Ltd Replacement Parts Depot Limited Richard Repair Services Ltd Roland Zikmanis, Clearwater Impex Group Serge LeBlanc, Specialty Sales & Marketing Sherri Langfield, Specialty Sales & Marketing SOLVIT Southside Auto Supply Ltd Stewart Auto Parts Ltd., Mary Wilson Tom Wilson, NGK Spark Plugs Trimax Automotive Parts Inc. Ultra-Fit Exhaust Systems Wakefield-Sperling Auto Parts Zurawel Patton Sample