Buying group AVB/BrandSource raised $154,000 for Make-A-Wish’s Arizona chapter, during its annual Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., Dec. 3-6.
The fundraiser, an “AVB Grand Prix,” had attendees from BrandSource’s 14 regional chapters racing battery-powered Power Wheels toy cars for cash that was funneled to the founding chapter of the international organization that helps grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Donning helmets and assisted by pit crews, BrandSource drivers raced vendor-sponsored cars around an indoor track as onlookers cheered them on. Following the checkered flag, vendors pledged additional dollars to the cause, as did AVB – along with BrandSource’s chapters and divisions; its custom install affiliate ProSource; and Expert Warehouse, AVB’s consumer tech distribution arm. (For the record, BrandSource’s Mid America, Rocky Mountain and Great Plains Regions placed first, second and third.) The cars themselves were later donated to a local children’s foster care agency. The charity race continued a longstanding AVB tradition of helping children in need, and more than doubled last year’s take of $75,000, raised in a bakeoff competition for Toys for Tots.
The charity race continued a longstanding AVB tradition of helping children in need, and more than doubled last year’s take of $75,000, raised in a bakeoff competition for Toys for Tots.
“Think about how many kids’ lives are about to be touched,” remarked Jim Ristow, CEO of AVB. Added Development and Events Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Arizona Brenna Stewart. “Please know you are making a huge difference in the lives of our kids.”
The event was a highlight of the annual Leadership Conference, in which AVB’s directors, regional officers, senior management team and vendor partners review the group’s progress and performance over the past 12 months and set new goals and initiatives for the year ahead. “We’re bullish on the membership,” Ristow told attendees as he looked ahead to 2020. “We’re significantly outpacing the box stores, and the momentum will continue.”
The Conference, held at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort, also served as a sendoff for Mike Allen, BrandSource’s vice president of Home Furnishings, who will be retiring at the end of January after serving the group and its members for 24 years.