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New store owners connect with Indigenous communities

Canadian Tire Marathon owners Hamidreza Homayouni and Masha Shidvash are hosting a fundraiser for Jumpstart and a showcase event for the Indigenous community on Sunday.
Canadian Tire Marathon co-owner Masha Shidvash, left, poses with Pic River Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Chief Duncan Michano, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg CEO Debi Bouche and Canadian Tire Marathon co-owner Hamidreza Homayouni following a recent meeting.

MARATHON – As the new owners of Canadian Tire in Marathon, Hamidreza Homayouni and Masha Shidvash wanted to do their part to help their new community and foster strong relationships within it.

The husband-and-wife team is doing just that Sunday as the store is hosting a Jumpstart for Joy and The Story of Resilience event, which will serve as a fundraiser for Jumpstart and showcase the Indigenous community.

“With it being Jumpstart Month and National Indigenous History Month in June, we thought it was a good idea to present an event like this for Marathon and everyone in the surrounding area to get together and celebrate,” Homayouni said.

“We spoke with Pic River First Nation and Pic Mobert First Nation about it and they really liked the idea, as did the local business and the town of Marathon. A lot of them told us that there hasn’t been an event like this here so it’s been pretty awesome to prepare something like this.”

Shidvash said the feedback that they have received from the local Indigenous community has been extremely positive.

“They’ve told us that this has been the first time that anyone from a Canadian Tire dealership has come to visit as Pic River Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Pic Mobert Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg,” Shidvash said.

“That relationship we’ve had with them has been the best and they really appreciate it.”

In addition to showcasing the Indigenous community, the event will also raise funds for Jumpstart, which helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to take part in sports and recreation activities.

Over the years, Marathon has benefited directly from the program with the operation of youth soccer teams and with grants that were used to help build basketball courts in Pic Mobert.

“We are working with the Canadian Tire Jump Start program right now on something that will hopefully be announced in the next couple of months,” Homayouni said. “Everything is getting finalized for that, but it will be big news for the town.”

Sunday’s events get started at 10 a.m. and will feature children’s activities, traditional dance celebrations, food trucks, a car wash station and support from various other local businesses.

More information on the event can be found on Canadian Tire Marathon’s Facebook page.