Christmas is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year! It is a time that people give unto others and spread joy amongst their communities. It is wide spread throughout Martensville and the simple task of running to the store for a carton of milk can spread joy as wishes of “Merry Christmas” fill the air.
One local business owner knows all too well how much a little bit of help can change the course of someone’s life. Steve Cusson, owner/operator of Phobia Auto Care in Martensville, hasn’t always had the option to help others. Growing up in B.C., Cusson ended up in a foster home before moving to Saskatchewan to live with his father. The situation did not pan out well and by the age of 16, Cusson was living on the streets of Saskatoon, not knowing where he would sleep from moment to moment. “I lived on the streets, under a bridge, on a school roof and I would couch surf when I could. With no address, I couldn’t find a job and things weren’t looking good,” Cusson said.
It wasn’t until Cusson got a job at a Burger King that things began to turn around. After saving enough money to put a roof over his head, Cusson made his way off of the streets. It wasn’t until later in life when he met his wife, that Cusson knew things were going to work out for him. “Once I had met her, we just went from there and we could manage the tough parts together.”
Cusson knew he wanted to be a mechanic, which led to him working in multiple places gaining experience, although all of those opportunities ended with Cusson being laid off. It was then that the Martensville resident decided to work out of his garage, beginning with neighbors and friends and before long, getting more support from the community that he could have ever imagined. “Things just took off. The community was really good to me and supported me and that support has gotten my business where it is today. That’s why I want to give back, I want to say thank you and I don’t want to ever see anyone go through what I went through. I want to be able to do what I can where I can to help someone else out, even if it’s just a little bit,” Cusson explained.
This desire to give back has inspired a wide-spread give-away on the Phobia Auto Care Facebook page, with a new item presented each day. Items were donated by Martensville, Saskatoon and other local businesses, with a total of 19 draws available. The grand prize, a NextGen Automotive Installation Free DroneCommand Start, worth approximately $500, will be drawn on December 24th. Cusson, who hopes to have even more items for next year’s Christmas giveaway, also made a donation of $500 after requesting that people nominate families or individuals having a tough time. The original post, which was shared on Facebook over 60 times, asked people to put through nominations for someone having a string of back luck, tough times, or who may struggle throughout the season and could use some support. After reading through all of the heartbreaking stories, Cusson presented the donation, helping to make someone’s Christmas a little brighter. Through Facebook, Phobia Auto Repair also did a “Free Tire Give Away” and presented one lucky winner with a set of winter tires worth approximately $600. Additionally, Cusson has contributed to the community as a whole in other ways including; clearing snow after large snowfalls around Martensville, donating to the Kyle Syrenne Skatepark, stocking a pond in Kinsmen Park with 2000 trout so families can enjoy fishing together, and more.
This year will mark two years that Phobia Auto Repair has been in business, and within those two years, the business has turned over approximately 4,000 vehicles. “It has been crazy. I love to give back and with the support of the community, I have been able to do that. I will continue to do that because as long as the community is supporting me, there is no reason not to.”
To learn more, or to enter into the Christmas giveaways, follow ‘Phobia Auto Repair’ on Facebook.