Auto dealer wraps 35-year career in auto industry by giving community one more ‘rebate’.
In 2014, Dennis Balon made a $1.4 million donation through paid-up life insurance policies and private company shares to six hospital foundations in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and North Battleford. Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation received $400,000, which Dennis asked be directed to equipment and capital projects.
When announcing this legacy gift, he and his wife Shell also directly donated to the Foundation. The Balon’s gift of $28,000 purchased a new electrodiagnostics unit and other priority equipment for the hospital’s Rehab Therapies department.
After working in the auto industry as a salesperson and manager, Dennis became a partner in North Battleford’s Frontier Ford. In 1990, he purchased a Ford dealership in Prince Albert and became sole owner of Lakeland Ford. Under Dennis’ lead, Lakeland was a Top 100 company in Saskatchewan for 20 years.
“Giving back to the community is my way of saying thanks to thousands of people who have done business with us,” he says. “In my opinion, hospital foundations are the best way to give financially. As soon as a piece of equipment is bought the money is being used to help people by improving their quality of life or even saving lives.
Dennis encourages business people like himself to follow a similar formula. “I want to promote the idea of business people working with professional advisors to create gifting solutions that are a win-win for charities and donors, and that work with each individual’s long term estate and financial planning.”