Auction for Athletes celebrates record-breaking result

SOBC – Smithers athlete Torben Schuffert
SOBC – Smithers athlete Torben Schuffert at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.

The 2022 Auction for Athletes was the most successful year yet, raising $245,000 for Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC.

Running from March 31 to April 5, the online auction was steered to success by New Car Dealers and supporters, who donated 290 auction prizes, made cash pledges, solicited donations, and bid on items.

“The 2022 Auction for Athletes was a tremendous success and shows yet again that even during challenging times, our industry comes together to make an important difference – raising a record amount,” said Blair Qualey, President and CEO, New Car Dealers Association of BC. “This support will make such a huge difference for Special Olympics athletes – thanks to all our amazing sponsors and everyone who placed bids. B.C.’s New Car Dealers are making a difference to help rebuild Special Olympics BC's year-round and in-person sport programs for these amazing athletes while also providing important grants and scholarships for students wanting to improve their skills through car careers grants.”

Now in its 35th year, the auction has raised more than $5.6 million to support the life-changing work of Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC.

“Special Olympics is important because it keeps people fit and active. It has benefitted me to be in a group more, and be more valued," SOBC – Smithers athlete Torben Schuffert said.

Watch Torben’s story

Kendall Salanski at the 2017 SOBC Summer Games
Kendall Salanski (centre) says Special Olympics had helped her make friends and feel included.

This year’s Auction for Athletes mattered more than ever. 

The pandemic has had a long-lasting, far-reaching impact on athletes with intellectual disabilities, who were already far too familiar with the pain of isolation. 

Funds raised will help reopen Special Olympics BC's sport programs that create empowering connections, open hearts and minds to inclusion, and break down barriers.

For Special Olympics BC – Kimberley/Cranbrook athlete Kendall Salanski, getting back into in-person programs gave her “great confidence of getting back into shape.”

“I felt very excited inside to see the group of athletes again!” she said.

Watch Kendall’s story

Big thanks to everyone who supported the Auction for Athletes – you are helping reuniting friends on the fields of play!

Daniel Thomas
Daniel Thomas competed in powerlifting at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

"During the pandemic … it was very, very tough. Some of those months were very, very bleak,” SOBC – Vancouver athlete Daniel Thomas said. “But when programs came back, being able to do that meant the world to me, and meant very much, very similar to fellow athletes I know, because Special O is such an intrinsic part of our lives that when we don’t have it, it really deeply affects us. So every day that I’m able to go to the gym or I’m able to go to the curling rink, I’m so thankful that I’m able to do that.”

Watch Daniel’s story

We are very grateful to Silent Auction Sponsor First Canadian Financial Group; Vehicle Donors BC Honda Dealers Association and BC Toyota Dealers; $10,000 Sponsors BC Subaru DAA, Chevrolet Buick GMC Dealers of BC, and Mazda Canada Inc.; $5000+ Sponsors Bannister Automotive Group, Harmony Honda,  Jim Pattison Auto Group, and Park Shore BMW; and Media Sponsors The Province and Vancouver Sun.

Heartfelt thanks to the dedicated members of the auction organizing committee. Every year they give countless hours of thoughtful and compassionate work to make this event a success. 

Thanks to:

  • Manse Binkley, Harmony Honda and Harmony Acura
  • Marnie Carter, Carter Auto Family
  • David Jukes, First Canadian Financial Group
  • Pamela Keith, Dueck Auto Group
  • Bill Mitchell, Carter Auto Family
  • Brad Osterman, Kia Victoria 
  • Blair Qualey, New Car Dealers Association

Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC extend sincere thanks to everyone who supported the 2022 auction and look forward to another exciting event in 2023. To get involved, please contact Meg Ishida, Fund Development Coordinator (Events), at

Thank you!    

Silent Auction Sponsor 

First Canadian Financial Group

Vehicle Donors

BC Honda Dealers Association 
BC Toyota Dealers

Media Sponsors 

The Province 
Vancouver Sun

$10,000 Sponsors 

BC Subaru DAA 
Chevrolet Buick GMC Dealers of BC
Mazda Canada Inc.

$5,000+ Sponsors 

Bannister Automotive Group
Harmony Honda
Jim Pattison Group
Park Shore BMW

$2,000 - $3,000 Sponsors

Auto West Group
CDK Global
Color Compass Corporation
Dueck Auto Group
Harmony Acura
W.P.J. McCarthy and Company 

$1,000 Sponsors

Doak Shirreff Lawyers LLP
Go North Surrey
Greg Gardner Motors 
MCL McGill Carriers 
Pacific Honda
Precision Carriers
Richmond Auto Mall

$1,000+ Item Donors

4Less Disposal
ADESA Canada
Alaska Highway News
Allwest Insurance Services Ltd.
Applewood Auto Group
Bell Media
Big White Ski Resort
Bradley Smoker
Carter Auto Family
Downtown Marina Kelowna
Dueck Auto Group
GAIN Group
Glacier Media Group
Harris Group
Honda Canada Inc.
HUB International Insurance Brokers Burnaby
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
Michael Mason & Co. Ltd.  
Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. 
Sparkling Hill Resort
TerraMotus Solutions Inc.
Times Colonist
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

$500 Sponsors

Baker Tilly WM LLP
Barnes Wheaton GM South Surrey
Brian McLean Chevrolet
CapriCMW Insurance
Downtown Tyee Chevrolet Buick
Jenner Chevrolet
Laird Wheaton GM
Murray GM
Wheaton GM
PHD Canada