Calgary, Alb. — Dec. 5, 2016 — The Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA) is pleased to announce that over $100,000 was raised in 2016 for the Canada Equipment Dealers Foundation (CEDF).  The funds were raised through a variety of events sponsored by WEDA, including an online auction, golf tournaments, private donations, and a silent and live auction at the association's 2016 annual general meeting and convention.

"With the assistance of our industry partners, we came up with some innovative ideas for auction items," said 2016 WEDA Vice President Wally Butler. "The response from our members exceeded our expectations, and we are now able to fund even more projects to meet our members' greatest need: finding more mechanics.”

"On behalf of the CEDF Board, I would like to thank the WEDA board and membership for raising significant funds for important educational initiatives," added Gail Halderman, CEDF president. "The Western Equipment Dealers Assn. is the industry leader in providing scholarships to colleges, capital funding for programs and dealership employee training."

WEDA would like to thank major sponsors Ritchie Bros, Western Life Assurance, Farm Credit Canada and Federated Insurance for their assistance, as well as the many other suppliers who provided live and silent auction items.

The CEDF was established in 1998, and since inception it has distributed over $2million in western Canada to current and prospective dealership employees, colleges for training programs, scholarships and capital funding. WEDA, and its Canadian predecessor, the Canada West Equipment Dealers Assn., has also provided capital funding to Olds College, Assiniboine Community College, Parkland College and Sask Polytechnic through the CEDF. 

WEDA and the CEDF are also collaborating with Olds College on a new program; funding a dual credit initiative that will provide ag mechanic training to high school students. “We believe that this new program will raise the awareness of the need for technicians and lead to more enrollment in the ag apprenticeship and pre-employment programs,” added Butler.