VIDEO: Chilliwack single mother of three recipient of car giveaway

Ashley Leclair chosen to receive vehicle in 16th annual Valley Toyota-Fix Auto charitable project

Ashley Leclair’s twin boys Carter and Jamie started in Kindergarten at Bernard elementary this September, the same month her vehicle broke down.

Without wheels, the single mother was left walking the boys to and from school, a distance she covers multiple times each day with her three-year-old girl Naomi who has pre-school on site.

“It’s about a half hour walk there and a half hour walk back especially with her little legs,” Leclair said Wednesday.

But now the single mother of three can pick up groceries, take care of emergencies, and take her kids to and from school in comfort as she was chosen as the Valley Toyota-Fix Auto car giveaway recipient for 2019.

This is the 16th year of the car giveaway to a worthy Chilliwack resident.

• RELATED: For the 15th year in a row, Chilliwack businesses give away a car to a family in need – 2018

“Each year we look forward to participating in the Christmas Car Giveaway and helping someone our community,” Valley Toyota sales manager Niels Larsen said. “It takes everyone involved to make this event as special as it is. We are so excited Ashley is this year’s winner and that Valley Toyota is a part of helping her family.”

Leclair was brought to Fix Auto on Young Road Wednesday morning by her friend Nick, who attempted to trick her by saying they were going out for lunch. She was suspicious about the whole thing, and when told why she was there, faced by about 20 employees and business owners involved, she was shocked into silence.

“I feel really awkward right now,” she said, later adding. “This is the best Christmas ever.”

Each year, Valley Toyota donates a vehicle it has accepted on trade-in to be fixed up and given to a member of the community based on written submissions from the public.

Larsen said Leclair had eight nominations, which suggested she was a worthy recipient.

In addition to the donation of the 2003 Toyota Matrix from Valley Toyota, and body work and paint provided by Fix Auto Body & Paint repair, other local companies contributed. Hub International Barton Insurance presented her with six months of car insurance to get her going. Staff at Simpson Auto Mechanical Repairs went through it thoroughly on the mechanical system. Napa Auto Parts provided parts for the Matrix, as well as remote control cars for the twins and a tablet for Naomi. Big-O Tires provided tires, gift cards and goodies for the family, and Certified Auto Sound installed a remote starter and a Bluetooth audio system.


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Valley Toyota general sales manager Michael Thomas congratulates Ashley Leclair, the recipient of the 2019 Chilliwack Progress-Valley Toyota-Fix Auto car giveaway on Dec. 18, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Ashley Leclair and her three-year-old daughter Naomi after she was presented with a Toyota Matrix as the recipient of the 16th annual Chilliwack Progress-Valley Toyota-Fix Auto car giveaway. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

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