Includes a $400,000 contribution by the Province of BC, which was presented to KidSport BC by BC Liberal MLA Michelle Stilwell
VANCOUVER, Sept. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - On September 14, 2013, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE andTSX: RBA) hosted the 4th annual Corporate Kids Challenge and raised more than CA$530,000 for KidSport BC™, a community-based sports funding program that provides grants for financially disadvantaged children to participate in amateur sport. As part of the event, Ritchie Bros. welcomed Olympic athletes, local celebrities and corporate teams to participate in a series of sports day challenges. The opening ceremonies for the event included a presentation from Michelle Stilwell, BC Liberal MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Corporate Kids Challenge athlete and five-time Canadian Paralympic medal winner in women's basketball and women's athletics, on behalf of the Province of British Columbia, where she presented a cheque for CA$400,000 to KidSport BC.
"We are here today to celebrate 20 amazing years of KidSport," said Michelle Stilwell. "Sport creates so many opportunities for us to learn about teamwork, camaraderie and fair play—it helps make us stronger citizens and builds stronger communities. So I am excited to announce, as a representative for the minister of sport, Coralee Oakes, that the government of BC is donating $400,000 to KidSport BC. This is a commitment to BC's future and BC's families."
The Corporate Kids Challenge teamed up Olympic athletes and local celebrities with 20 corporate teams from the Greater Vancouver area. After facing off in a series of sports day challenges, including tug of war, as well as hockey, soccer and basketball challenges, and an obstacle course set up by the Burnaby Fire Department, Marsh/ACE were crowned this year's champion.
"For me this event is very important because it gives me the chance to give back to an organization that has given me so much," said Richard Hortness, two-time Canadian Olympian in men's swimming and former recipient of KidSport funding. "When I was younger and just started swimming competitively and seeing some success, I was told by my parents that we may not be able to afford it anymore. Thankfully we found KidSport and they were able to help me continue to do something I love."
The evening concluded with a live charity auction featuring auction items donated by local companies and members of the business community. The unreserved auction took place on site at the event—held at Ritchie Bros. head office in Burnaby, BC—where bids were made in person, live online at www.rbauction.com and by proxy. Auction highlights included a 10-person boot camp session with two-time CFL all-star defensive back and TV exercise show host Tommy Europe, Vancouver Canucks gift packages, a deluxe fishing trip vacation for two at Stuart Island, BC and much more. All proceeds from the charity auction were donated to KidSport BC.
"Twenty years ago the staff and board of Sport BC had a vision of a program like KidSport, but I don't think they could have imagined an event like this today that raises so much money and helps so many kids get in the game," said Pete Quevillon, Director, KidSport BC. "This event—and all the people here today—will help about 500 kids play a season of sport. It's a huge day and I thank you on behalf of KidSport."
In the four years the event has been held, the Corporate Kids Challenge has raised more than CA$1.8 million dollars for KidSport BC, making it the biggest fundraiser for any KidSport chapter in all of Canada.
"I would like to say a big thank you to all the corporate teams who came out to support this truly fun and important event," said Peter Blake, Chief Executive Officer, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "Ritchie Bros. has operations around the world, but BC is our home base—it's where we were born and bred—and we want to give back to our community. As soon as we connected with KidSport BC in 2010 there was an instant connection and every year we are so proud to host this event."
Ritchie Bros. plans to host the 5th Corporate Kids Challenge in September 2014.
Established in 1993 by Sport BC, KidSport™ is a community-based sports funding program that provides grants for financially disadvantaged children ages 18 and under to participate in amateur sport and learn valuable life lessons and skills. The organization operates 177 chapters across Canada, 41 of which are based in British Columbia. For more information about KidSport™ and how you can help in your community, please visit www.kidsport.bc.ca.
About Ritchie Bros.
Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. (NYSE andTSX: RBA) is the world's largest seller of used equipment for the construction, transportation, agriculture, material handling, energy, mining, forestry, marine and other industries. Ritchie Bros.TM solutions make it easy for the world's builders to buy and sell equipment with confidence, including live unreserved public auctions with on-site and online bidding (rbauction.com), the EquipmentOneTM secure online marketplace (EquipmentOne.com), a professional corporate asset management program, and a range of value-added services, including equipment financing for customers through Ritchie Bros. Financial Services (rbauctionfinance.com). Ritchie Bros. has operations in more than 25 countries, including 44 auction sites worldwide. Learn more at RitchieBros.com.
SOURCE: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
For further information:
Ian Malinski, Corporate Communications Specialist
Phone: +1.778.331.5432 or email: CorpComm@rbauction.com