Dakota Jones will no longer need to worry about whether the next kilometre tacked onto his car will cause it to break down during his down-Valley commute.
The Hope resident and his family, fiancé Jolene Bonson and children Zaedyn and Aspyn, were the recipients of a 2014 Mazda 2 sponsored by Hope Auto Body and other local automotive businesses. Jones said he’s still “kind of in shock” after finding out – his mother Echo Jones had entered her son in the giveaway and he found out when he was in an online lecture for his studies in pharmacy.
“She was really excited,” Jones said of his mother’s reaction. “Everyone in my family knew that car was going to give out at some point, and so we were always trying to think of some way that we could find something more reliable and something we didn’t have to worry about.”
Jones had been driving a vehicle with 450,000 kilometres on it and was already having some issues, including having to drive with his windows down on the highway as the air conditioner was out of commission. “It was a ticking time bomb,” he said.
His new ride won’t give him the same trouble, with new tires, mechanical work done and a small gas tank that’s affordable to fill. It’s good timing for Jones, as a third year pharmacy student he will be heading out all over the Lower Mainland for practicums next year.
As with many people, COVID-19 made working and saving for school difficult for Jones this summer. He now works in Chilliwack, so a daily drive will be necessary.
The young dad will likely also be taking his new car out bug hunting, as his three-year-old son Zaedyn loves everything about these creatures. His daughter Aspyn, almost two, will likely tag along, yet the shoes she wears may be more important than the car – “She’s obsessed with shoes,” Jones laughed.
Hope Auto Body supplied the four door hatchback as well as the volunteer hours of technicians to get the vehicle ready.
Shop owner Bill Davidson said the giveaway is a community effort by the local auto industry, with mechanical work donated by Brenners Automotive, a set of new tires from Kaltire and detail work by Kenny J’s Mobile Detailing. LKQ also provided parts at no charge.
Jones was chosen by staff at the auto body shop to receive the car, based on write-ups submitted to them last month. The giveaway was open to residents of Hope and area, including the Fraser Canyon.