Pictured above (left to right): SD42’s Tom Wallace and Steve Wiebe with Candace Gottschalk, Marlyn and Ian Coates.
School District No. 42’s automotive programs are revved up after receiving a $20,000 donation from the Ed Coates Memorial Foundation.
The memorial foundation was created by the family of automotive entrepreneur Ed Coates, co-founder of Lordco Auto Parts, which began in Maple Ridge in 1974. Coates passed away from cancer in 2014.
“My father loved this industry; we grew our business locally here in Maple Ridge and he was passionate about it. So we make this donation in his name to help enhance the secondary automotive programs in all the schools,” said Ed Coates’ son Ian.
Ian noted that high school automotive shops provide an opportunity for students to learn about the industry and potential careers. “It definitely starts at this level, with work that the guys like [MRSS automotive teacher] Tom Wallace and other teachers in the district do. We hope that we can continue to build the industry.”
Ed Coates’ wife Marlyn and daughter Candace Gottschalk also attended the cheque ceremony at Maple Ridge secondary on October 27.
“My dad was big on giving to the community and giving to Maple Ridge,” said Candace. “The automotive field is something that we’re all passionate about and we want to involve kids as much as we can in the automotive field.”
Steve Wiebe, principal of SD42’s trades programs and the district alternate school, said the donation will help secondary automotive programs across the district.
“It is wonderful to have community support so that our students will have the best possible opportunities to learn practical skills that will lead them to fulfilling and well-paying careers,” he said. “On behalf of School District 42 I would like to express my gratitude to the Ed Coates foundation for their generous support.”