Calgary International Auto & Truck Show


CMDA Receives Award

CMDA Recognized with "Generosity of Spirit" Award

We were very excited when the CMDA was recently honoured for it's support of local charities through the Vehicles & Violins Gala and other activities.

On November 15 2011, the CMDA was awarded the Generosity of Spirit Award by the Calgary & Area chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Calgary Motor Dealers Association: Philanthropic Group

Nominated by: ALS Society of Alberta, Alzheimer Society of Calgary and SAIT Polytechnic

“Strengthening the communities we live and work in by building relationships that make philanthropy happen.”

The Calgary Motor Dealers Association (CMDA) is a group representing 76 new vehicle franchised dealers in the city of Calgary. They come together as volunteers to make a difference in the community and over the years have raised millions of dollars in support of numerous charities.

Since 2000, the Vehicles & Violins Gala has been the signature fundraising event in the CMDA calendar. This exclusive affair takes place just before the opening of the Calgary International Auto & Truck Show and features an evening of international cuisine and exceptional musical entertainment performed by members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Every year the CMDA’s Gala Committee designates two organizations to be recipients of the proceeds from the occasion. In the 11 years since its inception, the Gala has supported more than 14 local charities and raised over $2.2 million. Beyond the funds raised, the event also provides a wonderful opportunity to increase public awareness of the benefitting organizations. Information is circulated to more than 300,000 homes in Calgary; 8,000 brochures are mailed to individuals and corporations; and materials are displayed throughout the five days of the Auto & Truck Show. As a result, the organizations effectively reach more than 338,000 people in less than six months – invaluable exposure for any non-profit. During the Auto & Truck Show itself, representatives from the benefitting organizations have the opportunity to interact with the public, with stakeholders and with the media, further increasing awareness of their work.

In addition to supporting numerous charitable groups from the community and social service sector – including the donation of several brand new vehicles to the Calgary HandiBus Association – CMDA also supports educational institutions such as SAIT Polytechnic, where a strong partnership has developed between the two organizations. The CMDA Endowment Fund provides generous scholarships for the Automotive Management Training Program or Full-Time Technology or Apprenticeship Program offered by SAIT’s School of Transportation, funding almost 30% of all automotive student awards at the institution. CMDA’s greatest contribution to SAIT has been their fundraising effort during the campaign to build the Clayton Carroll Automotive Centre. In addition to their own contributions towards this $4 million initiative, they lobbied and leveraged their connections with their respective automotive manufacturers to make significant cash donations, and for their efforts received the President’s Partnership Award. SAIT students not only benefit from this remarkable generosity, but also learn the importance of volunteering in the community by donating their time to assist at the Auto & Truck Show each year, working alongside CMDA members.

Jim Gillespie, Executive Manager of the Calgary Motor Dealers Association, describes his organization as “a dedicated group of people whose mission is to strengthen community by building relationships between members and auto consumers,” noting, “Many of our successes with our philanthropic endeavours draw from these relationships.” Gillespie adds that, while “the CMDA aims to strengthen community... it is the community who makes this happen,” modestly concluding, “We are just the facilitators.”


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