Suncor is proud to support local community initiatives, and this spring was no exception. We recently worked with the Northern Offroad 4X4 Society and The Hub Family Resource Centre on some fun donation projects.

The Northern Offroad 4X4 Society has created a hub for racing enthusiasts in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region, thanks to some incredible volunteers and strong community support. To help with the heavy lifting, Suncor recently donated a decommissioned excavator to the non-profit.

The Society operates at Area 63 Motorsports Park, located on Highway 63--the main road leading north from Fort McMurray. The organization may be new, but the location is not. The 3/8-mile track was originally built by another car club in the 1980s but had not been maintained in recent years.

Since the Northern Offroad 4X4 Society was formed and granted the park’s development permit in 2020, several people and companies have helped reinvigorate the track and spectator area. Including a local towing company that is providing ongoing maintenance and safety inspection support with the excavator in-kind donation. Society President Larry Aulenbach says the group is grateful for all the assistance.

“There are some exceptional local businesses and volunteers helping to bring our vision to life to be a top-notch motorsport club in Northern Alberta,” says Larry, a heavy equipment operator at Mildred Lake site. “This in-kind excavator donation from Suncor will have so many uses – the sky is the limit. There’s also a few of us with heavy equipment experience, which lends itself well to doing the work in-house.”

To set the in-kind donation gears in motion, Tushaar Dhadwal, Director, Tailings – Maintenance and Reliability, led the work to understand the needs of the Society and followed Suncor in-kind donation processes. He was happy to see the Caterpillar 325 L model be put to good use with the Northern Offroad 4X4 Society. Hein de Jager, Maintenance Manager, Coarse Tailings, was also part of this working group and was on-hand to see the excavator make its first move at the track in May.

“This piece of equipment was decommissioned and had no further use to Suncor. It made sense to serve the community where there was a need,” says Hein, who drives past the Area 63 Motorsport Track daily on his way to Base Plant. “I’ve seen some of their progress to improve the track over the last few years. There has been a lot of blood, sweat, tears and passion put into this work.”

Hauling in support
Many families can relate with the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” and it’s one The Hub Family Resource Centre took to heart with their recent Hub Village facility expansion in Fort McMurray.

The Hub provides free early learning, child development and family support programs in the region and in May they saw some positive changes. A new central location will allow the non-profit organization to enhance their programming and increase the number of families they can serve simultaneously.

Suncor was pleased to be part of their expansion campaign with a support commitment and the addition of a yellow haul truck play structure. Along with this unique piece, Suncor has been proudly supporting the organization through many initiatives since 2011, such as The Hub on Wheels program and June Bug Festival.

A yellow children’s play structure in the shape of a heavy hauler.
A yellow children’s play structure in the shape of a heavy hauler.

“Thanks to the generosity of funders, sponsors, and donors, we can sustain free programming throughout the year in Fort McMurray and across Wood Buffalo. Our new location offers a more inclusive and accessible space for all community members. The Hub Village programs and play facility will help foster social and emotional growth during a child’s early years,” says Samantha Simpson, Executive Director, The Hub Family Resource Centre.