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Tom Huehn (right) hopes to get a great community response to help support the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, and also to help clean up the environment.  

By Andrew Ardizzi

Toronto, Ontario -- May 27, 2014 -- The Ontario Automotive Recycling Association (OARA) and the Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) are partnering to run the fifth annual Tire Take Back event to raise money for the Sunshine Foundation of Canada.

"I've been involved with the Sunshine Foundation for years beyond being a member of OARA and I see tremendous value in what we do to help these families," says 400 Auto Wreckers owner Tom Huehn. "And it's a great thing to support. The nuts and bolts of our business would drive you crazy if we didn't have programs like this to keep us grounded." 

Tire Take Back 2014 kicked off on May 26 and runs until May 31. More than 60 OARA members are participating this year, with each willing to accept any number of used car, light truck or farm tires for free from Ontario residents at any one of 60 OARA member locations across the province.

For each tire collected, OARA and its participating members. along with several registered OTS haulers, will make a monetary donation to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, an organization that works to make the dreams of children suffering from severe disabilities or life-threatening illnesses come true. Since the effort's conception in 2010, OARA members have raised over $700,000 to support the foundation.

"We've made a significant impact but we need everyone with a tire in their garages or backyard to come out and donate them," says Huehn.

He hopes to reach his goal of 5,000 tires and is offering to help unload the tires 400 Auto Wreckers customers bring in. He's reassured that the community has taken so kindly to the initiative and as an added bonus contributes to the effort.

The big benefit for communities though, beyond contributing to the Sunshine Foundation, is the city or town that donates the highest number of tires to the program will win $15,000 worth of recycled tire products to make eco-friendly upgrades to community buildings and spaces.

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Jeff Lanoue and Sean Demuinck feel Tire Take Back is a great triple threat opportunity to help support terminally ill children, the environment and their own community.  

A&L Auto Recyclers Owner Jeff Lanoue and his Operations Manager Sean De Muynck agree with the worth of the program and initiative, and hope to in no small way impact the health of the environment and the lives of the young children involved with the Foundation, which Huehn for example, works so tirelessly to support.

"You're keeping the environment clean as well as helping a great cause, and if we're lucky to get the $15,000 prize we can improve our community too," says Lanoue.

De Muynck says the impacts are apparent, both in how the lives of the Sunshine Foundation's children are enhanced and in the declining numbers of tires taken in simply due to the fact Tire Take Back has been so successful in encouraging Ontarians to donate their unused tires. Because of that, he feels the entire initiative is a win-win-win situation.

"To this day OTS has collected 60 million tires and Tire Take Back is a way we can give back to Sunshine," De Muynck says, additionally noting the total benefit of cleaning up excess tires from the environment. 

If they're lucky enough to collect the most tires, there are no shortage of opportunities to use the $15,000 to improve the community, ranging from playground equipment to flooring, roofing and rubber mulch. They also have their eye on chipping in and helping build the new local arena.

"It would be great if after this week-long event we had the privilege of calling the township to offer them a $15,000 prize for the arena floor," says Lanoue. "These are our biggest potential focuses so we could use all the support we can get from our community."

For more information on Tire Take Back, please visit RethinkTires.ca. For continuous updates please follow the 2014 effort on Facebook and on Twitter at @RethinkTires

 

 

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