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Adam Rich is Driving Change in Kelowna

April 17, 2024

Adam Rich (pictured with his own family) is rallying fellow Kelowna auto dealers to make a difference for families facing cancer.

Selling vehicles is a competitive business, but Adam Rich played a part in encouraging 18 Kelowna auto dealers to put rivalry aside to raise over $500,000 to help enhance life-saving cancer care in the Interior.

The general manager of Sentes Automotive, which includes Kelowna Mercedes-Benz, Kelowna Infiniti Nissan and Lexus of Kelowna, knows firsthand how cancer affects families. Adam’s mom, Margot Sentes, faced breast and lung cancer. More recently, a service advisor at one of the Sentes family-owned dealerships lost his wife to breast cancer.

“She was only 45 and they have a 9 year-old daughter. It was an extremely difficult situation,” says Adam.

“Unfortunately, everyone has connections to cancer,” he adds. “The Kelowna Auto Dealers Association (KADA) have a lot of employees, many of whom have been working and living in Kelowna for a long time — the chances are high that this disease will impact many of them at some point in their lives,” says Adam of KADA’s willingness to band together to bring increased access to cancer care to the Okanagan.

The partnering of 18 competing auto dealers itself is rare, but then Kelowna isn’t your average community, he says.

“People are really proud of where we live and interested in the growth that we’ve seen and are still seeing. There’s a big commitment to causes that impact the community, especially in health care and advancing access to cancer treatment.”

In addition to leading KADA’s charitable efforts to fuel cancer research and care at BC Cancer – Kelowna, Adam is on the BC Cancer Foundation Interior Transformation Council and has rallied his larger community to support the cause. Sentes Automotive has also donated more than $150,000 to the BC Cancer Foundation to support PSMA-PET technology (advanced imaging that detects prostate cancer spread) and genomics.

The company’s most recent gift of $100,000 supported a $6.1 million fundraising goal to bring a new, state-of-the-art Systemic Therapy Suite to BC Cancer – Kelowna.

The new suite will increase the Kelowna centre’s capacity to deliver drug therapy treatments, including chemotherapy, by 40% and bring early phase clinical trials to the Okanagan, ensuring patients have access to life-saving research and care closer to home.

Adam says his family’s philanthropy stems from gratitude. “Kelowna has been good to us from a business perspective with Sentes Automotive recently celebrating 30 years of serving the city — it’s our way of giving back.”

To join Adam and the Kelowna Auto Dealers Association in increasing access to cancer research and care in the Interior donate today or contact Mischa Mueller at 250.979.6652 or mischa.mueller@bccancer.bc.ca