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VIDEO: Christmas arrives early on winter tires for Silver Creek family

Salmon Arm businesses unite a 6th time for Christmas Car Giveaway

“We got picked! I wish you were here!”

Silver Creek’s Nicole Newton was overwhelmed with tears of joy as she shared the news with husband Levi via cellphone that they’d been selected for the 6th annual Shuswap Christmas Car Giveaway, held at the Salmon Arm Kal-Tire at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023.

Nicole arrived at Kal-Tire accompanied by children Belle, Damon, Abbie and their youngest, Vinnie, along with their uncle Kyle Newton (Nicole’s brother-in-law) and friend Sonya Budd, who nominated the Newton family for the giveaway. To keep it a secret, the plan was to bring the kids into Salmon Arm to see Santa, with Budd having to make a stop at Kal Tire.

“In my 74 years on this planet, I’ve never seen a such a deserving family,” said Budd.

At Kal Tire, the Newtons (with Levi at home) were greeted by manager Chris Swinburn, who had the honour of sharing the good news.

“We went through, I think it was 96 nominations – a record, the most so far – and just, given their circumstances and how they contribute to the surrounding area and how they contribute to their own community, they’re trying their hardest and I feel like this is going to be a good hand up to help them out,” said Swinburn prior to the Newtons arrival.

The annual giveaway is the result of an partnership between Braby Motors Ltd., SASCU Financial Group, Kal Tire and Fix Auto Salmon Arm. This year’s vehicle, a 2015 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, was in tip-top shape courtesy of the businesses, included $1,500 from SASCU for insurance, gift cards and other surprises.

“We also got a whole bunch of Christmas presents for the children so they can have a nice Christmas as well,” said Fix Auto general manager David Sziker.

During a group photo, Nicole began to explain how when she heard about this year’s giveaway, she began messaging friends.

“We give, I love to give, I don’t want to take, but I messaged a whole bunch of close friends and said we’re stuck, we need help…,” said Nicole. “This is a… blessing.”

Nicole said she and Levi had two vehicles die on them and had been borrowing a friend’s truck. Recently, they were able to acquire a truck for Levi to use for work. However, Nicole said she needs a vehicle at least four days a week to get the kids around to appointments and other errands.

“The kids on the way here were like, ‘I’m glad daddy didn’t come because we didn’t have to squish in the truck.’ Now we don’t have to squish, we all can fit!,” said Nicole.

Braby Motors hosted the first car giveaway and for Justin Braby, the event makes for one of his favourite days of the year.

“It will change their lives and it sounds like they’ve got a lot going on, so hopefully this will help this Christmas,” said Braby.

Read more: VIDEO: Salmon Arm businesses surprise former first responder with early Christmas gift

Read more: Salmon Arm businesses surprise local family known for their generosity

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The Newton family and representatives from partnering businesses behind the Christmas Car Giveaway - Fix Auto Salmon Arm, Braby Motors Ltd., Kal Tire and SASCU, share a photo with a cheque from SASCU for the cost of vehicle insurance. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)
The Newton family, Vinnie with uncle Kyle, Damon, Abbie, Belle and Nicole, share a photo with friend Sonya Budd, who nominated the Nicole and husband Levi (not present) to be the recipients of this year’s Christmas Car Giveaway. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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