When Jeff Rae, General Manager of Jim Pattison Hyundai Surrey, had the opportunity to undertake sponsorship activities with quarterback Travis Lulay, his research showed the BC Lions star has a strong connection with Special Olympics.
And that worked out perfectly for Rae, who believes in the power of sport, and whose family knows Special Olympics BC – Langley athlete Matthew Williams and has seen what an impact Special Olympics has had on his life.
“It’s good to be involved with the community and see the smiles on the athletes’ faces. Listening to Matthew talk and hearing what it’s brought to his life, it’s hard not to get involved,” Rae says.
Last year, Rae launched a promotion where Jim Pattison Hyundai pledged to donate $100 to SOBC for every touchdown thrown by Lulay and the Lions. They wound up writing a $3,200 cheque to SOBC after another successful Lions season. Just as importantly, he helped raise significant awareness for Special Olympics by placing TEAM Radio ads that explained the promotion and featured Lulay and Williams.
“Our boss believes in charity big time, and wants to make sure we’re doing things for the community. I really believe it brings a team of employees together, and we have found that banding together, making sure all our staff are aware of the promotions we’re doing, it’s been really successful that way,” Rae says. Seeing how involved they have become in their community, he adds, “I couldn’t be more proud of our staff.”
Now Rae also supports Special Olympics by assisting in soliciting items for this year’s New Car Dealers Foundation of B.C./Special Olympics BC Auction, and he is looking forward to supporting the 2013 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Langley, his town, by encouraging attendance to make sure the stands are full of people cheering on the athletes. Rae also plans to run the B.C. Lions touchdown promotion again with Lulay and SOBC, as well as continuing his efforts to raise awareness about Special Olympics at events such as the second annual North Surrey Auto Mall Car-B-Que, which debuted last year and where Rae invited Lulay and Williams to again share the spotlight.
“Seeing what Special Olympics does for the athletes, the confidence and sense of belonging, the pure enjoyment they have – everybody should have a chance to enjoy that,” he says.