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Chair of the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC and a long-standing supporter of Special Olympics BC, Harbourview Volkswagen Dealer Principal John Wynia has been involved with sport for his whole life.

Having seen what sport experiences bring into lives and the impact on communities, he believes sincerely in what Special Olympics is all about and feels it’s “really inspirational” to watch the athletes set goals, strive to challenges themselves, and grow.

“The motivation [to be involved with SOBC] is the actual process Special Olympics has done to attract people who have this need to join a social group that has athletic aspirations, and trying to achieve and measure their successes with their own peers … and be healthier citizens of their communities,” Wynia says.

Wynia has been involved with SOBC for 15 years, generously giving both of his time and support as a member of the New Car Dealers Foundation of B.C./Special Olympics Auction committee, and as a sponsor of SOBC events such as the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament, where Harbourview Volkswagen has been a Hole in One Sponsor for the past three years.

As a Volkswagen dealer for 30 years, Wynia sees great value in the New Car Dealers Association’s support of Special Olympics, giving recognition for the dealer community around the province being affiliated with a major charity, and helping smaller dealers such as himself to have a stronger identity.

He says he has enjoyed his many years of involvement with the auction, the significant fundraiser that last year raised more than $165,000 for the foundation and SOBC.

“I appreciated the efforts that went on, the products and offerings that were made in the auction. It’s very successful, in my mind, and it’s fun!” Wynia says. “The auction is amazingly fun – it makes you feel good when you’re involved with it, and it’s a way of spreading the message to anyone who isn’t involved.”

Wynia notes the amazing support that dealers around the province give to charities, both to Special Olympics with the association and to individual causes in their communities.

“The New Car Dealers historically are probably the most generous business group there is anywhere in Canada,” he notes. “They are always prepared to step up and write the cheque. They don’t promise; they do it.”

Now he’s looking across the border to the support that Alberta’s dealers also to Special Olympics, seeing an opportunity for a good-natured challenge. In 2012, the Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta presented a $250,012 cheque to Special Olympics Alberta, and Wynia would like to see B.C. go even farther in support of Special Olympics.

He encourages dealers to register when the auction opens in May, and to have some fun bidding each other up on items in support of the worthy causes. “They’ll understand how much fun it is!”

John Wynia with SOBC Vancouver athletes Annabelle, Ken, and Peter at the 2013 Vancouver International Auto Show Preview Gala