By Dylan O'Hagan
Kelowna, British Columbia -- April 8, 2016 -- You might guess that the team at Boyd Autobody and Glass in Kelowna, British Columbia, have a soft spot for kids. Every year they donate money towards a children’s charity. This year the beneficiary is the Angel Award, a talent show that supports the Arthritis Society of Canada.
The story of Elise Boisvert, a local 14-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of arthritis, helped spur the decision, according to Krista Mattar, Marketing Manager for Boyd Autobody and Glass Kelowna.
Elise was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis when she was just two years old. It’s a little understood disease that affects children and causes joint pain, swelling, stiffness and can hinder the ability to walk.
Elise’s mother Louise originally contacted Boyd Autobody and Glass. She shared her daughter’s story and courage with the people at Boyd Autobody. After learning about the disease and meeting Elise firsthand, Mattar says Boyd Autobody knew exactly what charity to donate to this year.
“It’s an amazing story and I actually got a chance to meet her daughter Elise and she is such an amazing girl,” she said. “You could never tell through her spirit that she was going through hardship. Having her there and getting to meet her really brought it home for us as well.”
All the proceeds from the 18th annual Boyd Autobody Father’s Day Car Show will go towards this year’s Angel Award. For the past three years the event has been in held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna. However, this year it’s taking place in Lake Country, where the Boisverts live.
The goal is to raise $10,000 for the Angel Award and help generate more research into juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
“It struck a chord with us,” says Mattar. “It was a good fit and they told us a lot of stories about people who use the Arthritis Society’s services and it melted our hearts. “We want to help them out so they can complete their dreams and live their lives to the fullest”