In the era of COVID-19, Moose Jaw residents have had to swallow some tough pills as events were cancelled and celebrations postponed, but one local car dealership has been working hard to lift people’s spirits up despite everything else going on.
Knight Ford Lincoln has been keeping up with a few community-focused charity campaigns this spring that general manager Matt Ponto hopes has helped Moose Jaw weather the proverbial storm.
Back in April, Knight Ford launched a challenge to Moose Javians: go out and purchase a gift card from a local business here in the city, and Knight Ford Lincoln will match that purchase dollar for dollar.
“[We wanted to see people] spend some money in the community, and the idea was just to stimulate the local economy,” said Ponto.
Knight Ford Lincoln pledged a limit of $5,000 for the gift card campaign, which promised to provide at least $10,000 going right back into the local economy.
After launching the campaign, Knight Ford partnered up with the Moose Jaw Kinsmen who also pledged another $5,000 worth of gift cards, which the club then auctioned off as a fundraiser event that even further helped out the community. All of the proceeds were donated to the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank, Hunger in Moose Jaw and the Moose Jaw Transition House.
Knight Ford Lincoln is also a big sponsor of the Prairie Hockey Academy in Caronport and has been involved with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the past, in addition to sponsoring jerseys for other community sports teams.
“Anybody who comes to us, we’re on board with helping,” said Ponto. “We love when people come out to us with ideas to help the community, and we’re always open to being involved locally.”
The dealership has also been the prime sponsor of the June graduation insert in the Moose Jaw Express for the past three years, which highlights the graduating classes of all four Moose Jaw high schools and the new Phoenix Academy as they celebrate their achievement — in addition to the new scholarship opportunity they have started offering students.
Knight Ford Lincoln has three scholarships available to Moose Jaw graduates, in addition to some prize draws that will be gifted to applicants.
"I think it's important to support our graduates. The young people of today are the future of Moose Jaw and it's surrounding area,” said Ponto. “We are always excited to support local, as they support us."
Helping out the local community is important to Ponto, especially as a local business. He is constantly impressed by the way Moose Jaw responds to charitable initiatives, as well as how the community values support.
"I've always admired how community-driven the town of Moose Jaw is. The people and businesses here really look after each other and I'm glad Knight Ford can be a part of that," said Ponto.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect example of how Moose Jaw is notorious for its unwavering goodwill and supportiveness.
"We really appreciated how Moose Jaw and surrounding area stood behind us during COVID-19,” said Ponto. “We were happy to see everyone coming in for service and shopping for new vehicles. People were very patient with us as our increased safety precautions added a little more time to their visits."
The Express has appreciated Knight Ford Lincoln’s continued support over the years, a sentiment that is likely true for a number of local charities and organizations.
Knight Ford Lincoln is located on Thatcher Drive East. The showroom and service centre are now completely open and ready for customers to drop by.