Joe Mitchell doesn’t do anything halfway, and Special Olympics BC athletes and programs have been fortunate to benefit from his great energy.
Chairman of the Carter Auto Group, Mitchell has been supporting SOBC for 29 years, serving as a driving force in the New Car Dealers Foundation of B.C./Special Olympics Auction and helping build SOBC’s largest endowment fund.
Mitchell sees that Special Olympics makes every athlete feel like a winner, and values being part of the positive experiences.
“You very seldom see any less than a smile on [the athletes’] faces, and when you see them in motion it’s incredible,” he says. “When you know you’re a little part of helping them, it makes you feel pretty good about it all.”
Howard Carter, Mitchell’s friend and business partner, invited him to get involved in the cause 29 years ago, and Mitchell responded wholeheartedly. He has demonstrated impactful and long-standing leadership with the auction throughout the years, having served as Chair of the auction committee and working hard and generously in everything from item and cash donation solicitation to purchasing items himself.
Mitchell has successfully drawn in appreciated cash donors, including First Canadian Insurance Group, who began their involvement with a cash donation of $1,000. Mitchell worked with them to increase their contribution by $1,000 each year, and they now generously give $20,000 each year through the auction.
Mitchell has also supported SOBC as a key champion of the Howard Carter Fund to continue Carter’s legacy of passion and support for Special Olympics, and that fund now has nearly $700,000. This year he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his dedicated fundraising efforts for SOBC.
Mitchell feels he wants to give back to the community, having achieved success in his life, and he and the Carter Group believe in doing a lot in the community. He and his wife also contribute to other worthy causes such as Richmond Hospital, as he is a 75-year resident of Richmond. When Mitchell is encouraging other dealers to donate to the auction, he asks them to give whatever they can, no matter how much, to share in the feeling of being part of such a good cause. He sends a personal note of thanks to each donor.
“When you raise money for a charity like this, you get a pretty good feeling inside,” Mitchell says.