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Random Acts of Fordness: local dealership gives back

Denham Ford celebrates ten years in Cranbrook with ten charitable acts
Nancy Lemire of Salvation Army Cranbrook with Rene Kowalchuck and Steve Zsillei of Denham Ford, are pictured here with Albert Johnson, who they provided much needed new dentures to. Jody Jacob photo.

Paul Rodgers

Denham Ford, in celebration of their tenth year in business in Cranbrook, are putting a spin on the idea of Random Acts of Kindness. For two weeks, running from September 18 to 29, they will be rolling out ten “Acts of Fordness,” to give back to the city of Cranbrook.

“It’s going to be a surprise every day,” explained Denham Ford marketing manager Steve Zsillei. “So every day is going to be something new that’s going to be put on our Facebook page so people can see what we’ve done. We’re not doing this to obviously get any type of sales, we’re just doing this because we’re celebrating ten years and we’re giving back to our community.”

Some of these acts will be planned out in advance, but the majority of them will be completely random. While Zsillei is keeping the planned-out events a secret until the day they are unveiled, the first act has already taken place.

Denham Ford got in touch with The Salvation Army around two weeks ago to see if they had anyone in mind that could use a little support in their life. They suggested Albert Johnson, who has been in need of dentures, but has lacked the financial means to attain them.

“They’ve been at this for about a year,” said Zsillei. “He’s been trying all sorts of different funds and grants to no avail. And we’ve met Albert for the first time today (September 18 )and he’s an awesome guy and so what we’re doing is we’re going to pick up the tab for his dentures. And he was floored and Nancy was floored — those are the Random Acts of Fordness that we want to do.”

“Well I didn’t handle it well in that I cried,” said Salvation Army’s coordinator of community ministries Nancy Lemire. “And for some reason I have a really soft spot when other people come out to help people. I mean Albert was in shock I would say and I was crying and Denham Ford was laughing and when all was said and done I think we were all laughing and hugging. But I couldn’t stop crying because this community is just non-stop. I’m constantly faced with people in need and people in crisis, day in and day out in my work and when people step forward like that and just say ‘how can we help,’ it’s amazing.”

Speaking about the motivations of this campaign, Zsillei said that they although Denham Ford has always given back to the community, through distributing cheques to various organizations or charities, they wanted to do something different.

“News sometimes is full of bad [stories] … we had forest fires, we had floods, we have hurricanes going on,” Denham said. “This is a feel good thing, it’s a good news story. We want people to hop on this coat tail, we want people to do stuff like this, this is not very difficult to do for anybody.”

After the campaign draws to a close, Denham Ford will host a celebratory bash on September 30. It will be catered and feature a band, bouncy castle and much more and run from 12:00 until 5:00 p.m.