Meet Randy Seymour from Wonder Auto and Tire. He and his staff have been valued supporters and donors of the Fredericton Community Kitchens’ Student Hunger Program through their Undercoating Program. Thank you Randy for your generous support!
Now, it’s your turn to get to know one of Fredericton’s finest.
1) Randy, tell us a little bit about your business.
Wonder Auto and Tire originally started in 1977 and we now have 8 stores and are 100% locally owned and operated. I started with the company the same year as a tec, and with a couple partners, bought the company 8 years ago. One of our business philosophies is to buy from and support local companies whenever possible. We hope this keeps jobs within our communities since profits from companies we support help to contribute to programs such as the Student Hunger Program.
2) Where did your passion for the work that you do and your involvement with the Student Hunger Program originate and how did it develop?
We have always supported local charities and minor sports teams in a smaller scale with donations or contributions to auctions or giveaways. Sometimes our support comes from our own employees and their families. Several years ago, our manager’s wife in Moncton had a baby girl. Being just a few hours old, she had to be rushed to IWK in Halifax for life saving heart surgery. After many visits to the IWK she will turn 6 in January and is doing just fine. Because of this, we started our employee 50/50 draw with over $5000 now being donated annually to the IWK.
A long time business acquaintance, Bill Gourley, came to me one day and said we had a real problem in the schools. I was never aware of the huge amount of kids going to school hungry and no lunch to help them through the day. It hit home somewhat because my daughter was attending Leo Hayes at that time and I could never imagine her going to school hungry and without a lunch. After tossing around a few ideas it was decided we would do the undercoating program. We knew this would be a win,win,win. Offer a needed service on a vehicle, give value for a donation, keep vehicles lasting longer and contribute 100% of the donations to the Student Hunger Program. So in September 2014 we launched our first campaign and raised over $12,000. This far exceeded our expectations and it sure felt pretty good! In 2015 we raised $20,000. We started the undercoating program in Oromocto and raised almost $4000 going to the local food bank. In 2016 our hope is to raise $25,000 to the Student Hunger Program and $10,000 for the Oromocto food bank.
Now In the third year, people of Fredericton are looking for the program. We now have customers coming in asking dates for the program well in advance. I believe this program has helped in the awareness of the problem and Wonder’s annual involvement in the undercoating program can ensure lunches can be supplied for years to come.
3) What does your involvement with the Student Hunger Program mean to you?
It’s great to give back to a community that has supported our business for 39 years. While waiting in the office of Memorial School last year, I was able to see some of what the program does. A young student came in the office and asked for a snack. I was amazed there was a basket with an assortment of items. I am sure this helped the student through the morning by helping that student to contribute in class and interact with other students. It’s a real good feeling when you see firsthand how the Student Hunger Program is working.
4) How do you see your work and involvement with the Wonder Auto and Tire Fundraiser contribute to a better Fredericton?
This would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of my staff and their contribution to the program as well as all the volunteers from the schools and community kitchen to make this all possible.
It’s a known fact you can’t learn on an empty stomach. Our small contribution will help these kids be better students and with a better education will be more productive in their future.
The Wonder Auto and Tire undercoating program runs until October 8th, 2016. To have your vehicle undercoated in support of the Fredericton Community Kitchens’ Student Hunger Program, book an appointment by calling 506-459-7646 or 506-458-8800.