Auto dealers raise 260025 for Special Olympics 2009: Motor Dealers

Auto dealers raise 260025 for Special Olympics

The Motor Dealers' Association of Alberta held their annual charity gala and golf tournament last week.

The event, the 25th annual, raised $260,025 and brings the total raised for Special Olympics close to $4.5 million. This year's total will be shared by Special Olympics and its Edmonton affiliate in a 90-10 split. The MDA Charity Classic is the single largest private contributor to Special Olympics Alberta, the MDA says. The non-profit organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. The event came to Edmonton for the first time after running for seven years in Red Deer and six years in Calgary, with the gala taking place at River Cree Casino and Resort on Wednesday, while the golfers hit the links at Glendale Golf and Country Club on Thursday. "For our first time in Edmonton, the event exceeded our expectations," said Denis Ducharme, president of the MDA. "We'll be able to build on this, as the event will stay at the same venues next year, and the planning committee is already working on the next Charity Classic." A highlight of the event, Ducharme says, was Murray Koch's speech after accepting an award from the MDA committee for his years of service to the charity event, which he founded. A longtime Alberta car dealer, Koch was presented with a painting that had come to life during the gala as an artist worked busily at the front of the room.

"It was just such a nice moment. He was the driving force that spearheaded this event all those years ago," Ducharme said. "When he spoke as to why this charity is so special to him, it touched the hearts of so many people there and gave us a connection to the people who were his inspiration."

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