Community Involvement

Local dealership surprises young entrepreneurs with $5,000 award for their generous hearts

A local car dealership took the opportunity to thank two young Steinbach women for their contribution to the community as they bettered the lives of children with cancer living in southern Manitoba by selling iced tea, brownies and in recent years t-shirts.

Jack Neufeld, Sales Manager at Highway Mazda explains that their business nominated Brooke Peters and Koda Reimer to receive a cash award through a Mazda Canada initiative, in recognition of all the money the two have raised over the years through the “Brooke & Koda’s Iced Tea Stand”.

Neufeld explains the “Rising Legends” program.

“Basically, it's for young entrepreneurs or young go-getters if you will, in the community, trying to better their community in certain ways, and you know, every summer we go there (the Iced Tea Stand) and help these girls out with their cause. It's just something that we've done as a family every year. So, I just thought of them right off the bat.”

Matt Walters, owner of Highway Mazda in Steinbach, was on hand Monday afternoon to hand over the cheques.

What makes this presentation exciting is that neither girl knew what was happening, their parents had not told them anything in advance. So, Walters shared the great news with two very confused young ladies.

“Well, thank you so much for coming. So, there’s kind of a neat thing that we’re involved with at Mazda, you guys were nominated and awarded through the store $5,000 towards your cause. I have a cheque for each of you for $2,500. So, congratulations guys. Very, very well earned. Very exciting. “

Walters continued telling the small crowd gathered inside dealership, why they had nominated Brooke & Koda to receive the money.

“It’s always been kind of close to my heart, what you guys do and so, we are really happy, and Jack (Neufeld) wanted to make sure that we nominated you guys, and we found a way to make this work. So, we are happy to make that donation.”

Once the ladies picked their jaws up off the floor, there was nothing but smiles and congratulations from Highway Mazda staff.

“You guys are what we call local legends!”

Brooke and Koda with Highway Mazda staff
Brooke Peters (left) - Matt Walters - owner of Highway Mazda, Koda Reimer (centre) Jack Neufeld and Kevin Waytiuk from Highway Mazda at cheque presentation.
Talking with Jack Neufeld after the presentation, he shares why the nomination was personal for him.

“Well, I think they remind me a lot of me when I was that age. Just pushing, the trying to do better, trying to get out there. You know, I mean it just touched me the way they were helping others.”

Neufeld is excited for the young ladies and how many people have been and will continue to be affected by their generosity through the “Iced Tea Stand”.

“For these young ladies, I just think this is something that's going to go on for years. They’ve done this for years already and just hear them talk when I go there to buy the stuff every year. This will go on for years.”

Speaking with the still-in-shock Brooke and Koda after the presentation, Koda noted that she had been looking forward to going for a slurpee, while Brooke had been told she was going to an orthodontist appointment.

Koda noted how she felt after hearing the news, “I was so confused because I was just picked up from school, so I had no idea what was going on. I was just so confused.”

While Brooke too, was in shock, her thoughts were already going to next summer’s iced tea stand.

“I was like, the iced tea stand stuff is already like, starting, and it's like, it's in, I don't even know how many months, but it's quite a while away and the iced stand stuff is already beginning. Its process is incredible.”