Van Isle Ford steps up to help Fort McMurray fire victims

Ford dealer will raise funds for fire victims at John Howitt Elementary event in Port Alberni on May 7.

Will Pulford of Van Isle Ford started his automotive career in Fort McMurray. He will help the Red Cross's efforts in Fort McMurray with a Drive 4UR Community event on May 7.

Will Pulford of Van Isle Ford started his automotive career in Fort McMurray. He will help the Red Cross's efforts in Fort McMurray with a Drive 4UR Community event on May 7.

Van Isle Ford’s Drive 4UR Community event taking place this Saturday, May 7 in the parking lot at John Howitt Elementary School. While the event was initially set up to help John Howitt Elementary school’s leadership class with their fundraiser for community development in Haiti, Ford has added a second reason to take a test drive—and it’s a personal one for Will Pulford, dealer principal at Port Alberni’s dealership.

In light of this week’s events in Fort McMurray, Ford will be donating an additional $20 per test drive to the Red Cross to support Fort McMurray relief efforts. These donations will be taking place at all participating Ford dealerships across Canada on Saturday May 7, including Van Isle Ford’s Drive 4UR Community event this Saturday at John Howitt’s parking lot from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Van Isle Ford is also going to donate $20 to the Fort McMurray relief efforts,” Pulford said. “That means a $60 donation per test drive.”

The first $20 will go toward the John Howitt leadership class’s project. The second $20, from the Ford Motor Company, will go to the Red Cross for its Fort McMurray campaign. The third $20 is coming from Van Isle Ford and Pulford, and will also go to the Red Cross.

Pulford started his career with Ford in Fort McMurray, with North Star Ford Lincoln. He lived in the northern Alberta city for five years, from 1999 to 2005. “I have a lot of friends that have been affected by this (fire),” he said. “A lot of friends that are displaced right now and they don’t know if their homes are there or not.

“I don’t think there’s enough words in the English language to really describe what’s going on up there,” he said. “It’s very, very scary.”

Pulford said he is not surprised to see how everyone has pulled together to help the city, which is under a mandatory evacuation order.

“That’s the one thing I’ll always remember about Fort McMurray, is how incredible the people were.”

John Howitt students will also be collecting non-perishable food items at the Drive 4UR Community event this Saturday, to be donated to the Bread of Life here in Port Alberni.

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