On the off days


OSHAWA, ONT. – Owasco dealer group prides itself on its charity fundraising. Like a badge on a Girl Guide sash, the group has over a dozen different charitable efforts displayed on its website.    

The five-brand dealer group says it has participated in events like the CIBC Run for the Cure, donated to the Drive 4 Dollars campaign to raise funds for a CT Scanner at Lakeridge Health Oshawa, and most recently participated in a toy drive.

Started during the holiday season of 2001, the ‘Stuff-a-Bug’ toy drive campaign involves parking a Volkswagen Beetle inside the Iroquois Park Sports Centre (IPSC) in Whitby, Ont., allowing visitors to cram it full of gifts to be donated to the Salvation Army for less fortunate families within the Durham Region about 30 minutes east of Toronto.

Along with its charitable efforts, the group says it also hosts other events such as sports game days, as a way of boosting staff morale.

“Staff is what run the company. Make you’re staff happy by offering some incentives on the side – it’s an extra boost in morale,” said Callaghan Brown, Owasco’s marketing manager.

Brown says the effort started in 1995 when the group became the title sponsor of Arena 3 at the IPSC, helping pave the way for the first of many hockey days Owasco staff and family have participated in.  

In 2012 the group also began sponsoring field C of the Oshawa Civic Recreation Centre, allowing Owasco to host a day of both hockey and soccer in April the same year.

With the double-header game day a huge success, he says the group has plans for at least two more this year.

“It’s nothing personal, you just go out there and have fun. You put everything at work aside. We have a chat after and just hangout.”

Staffers also participated in Movember. Held during November, the moustache-growing charity event raises funds and awareness for men's health.

Clean shavers can grew moustaches over the course of a month while raising funds for prostate cancer by seeking out sponsorships for their mo’s.

He says Owasco’s Mo Men, raised $2,270 while Owasco donated an additional $2,270 to the cause.

Brown hopes the charity and morale effort of Owasco prompts other dealerships to do the same.

“We also want to encourage dealerships to give back to their staff. I wouldn’t mind seeing more dealerships use that approach within the community.”