Just as it seems to do every year, summer has breezed past us once again. As the calendar forges on to fall, we can reflect on another season filled with milestones and memories. Summer brought with it positive returns for our mining and construction industries. The continued growth is a welcome trend for our customers in those fields, whose confidence in the market has resulted in calculated growth for their operations.
Summer wasn’t without its challenges, as record wildfires rolled through Canada for the second consecutive summer. This time it was our friends, customers and employees in British Columbia who had their lives turned upside down. Our thoughts are with you as you recover from these events. In a show of support, SMS Equipment donated $20,000 to relief efforts and teamed up with several local businesses to host a fundraiser on July 21, which resulted in nearly $300,000 for the Canadian Red Cross in British Columbia.
As a result of the wildfires, our Williams Lake branch was temporarily closed due to the evacuation of the area. We want to extend a big thank you to the Kamloops Branch for coordinating all efforts to respond to the emergency. The Kamloops Branch facilitated ongoing customer support and with welcomed assistance from the Prince George Branch.
The communities we work and live in are very important to us, and we strive to be a positive influence within them. One of our most popular fundraising efforts is the Fort McMurray Wine Auction for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo. This is a highly anticipated event each year, with proceeds helping to provide youth in the region with positive role models and programs to develop future leaders. The event made its debut in 2010 and has since generated $550,000 and positively impacted more than 600 children.
In addition to supporting our communities, we remain committed to doing whatever it takes to serve our customer base. We continue to move forward to meet the growing needs of our industry, and that drives our recruitment here at SMS Equipment as well. In order to meet customers’ service and parts needs, we are proud to announce the opening of our 5,480-square-metre (59,000-square-foot) Laval facility in the greater Montreal area. It is the one of the largest of SMS Equipment’s 36 branches and opened in mid-June.
Throughout our entire organization, we are dedicated to doing things the right way in order to deliver high quality service for our customers. A significant part of this pledge is a continuous dedication to safety from our employees. Creating and working in safe environments is a priority for all employees, and we are very proud to announce that our Fort McMurray branch was recognized with the Syncrude Award for Safety this year. The branch received the honor for working recordable-incident free for 10 years on Syncrude-owned and -operated sites.
We are also committed to carrying top-flight equipment and flexible options that our customers can utilize to get jobs done. That is why we added Takeuchi utility products to our rental fleet. Customers in the Vancouver and Edmonton areas now have a rent-to-rent option on those machines in addition to the more than 200 options that SMS Equipment offers through the K-Rents program.
Whatever the season, we are here to help keep your business successful and profitable. Whether it’s parts, service or equipment needs, our branches are ready and equipped to handle those requests.
President & CEO