The Wood Automotive Group is celebrating an anniversary.

Woodridge Ford has been around for 40 years as of this month.

Gerry Wood purchased Southridge Lincoln Mercury in 1983, and while it wasn't his first dealership, it was the catalyst to the Woods' longstanding relationship with Ford.

Since then, the Wood Automotive Group has expanded to include Okotoks Ford Lincoln, Okotoks Volkswagen, Advantage Ford, Big 4 Motors, Village Honda, and South Centre Volkswagen.

Vice President Rory Wood, Gerry's son, says their business philosophy started a few generations ago.

"Our grandfather was a Ford dealer in Scotland. His staple in the community was he converted cars to hand controls for people, especially soldiers who came back from World War II with missing arms, missing legs, so how are they going to get around? They didn't have the kits they have today, so through his experience being an engineer for the admiralty, helped design things to help people. It definitely taught us the basis of remembering that the person picking up that vehicle, it's not a transaction, you're helping them achieve their goals in their life."

The Woods have called Okotoks home for a few decades now, and Rory says they're honoured to have been a part of the community through all the growth it's seen.

"A lot of our staff live there, their kids play hockey, they play sports, they coach, they volunteer, they enjoy the competitions, they frequent businesses there. It's grown large but quite amazingly it's holding onto its small-town feel. The cultural side of that is saying "Hi, hello, how are you? and helping out your fellow neighbour."

okotoks fordOkotoks Ford, and their giant Canadian flag, sit right in the middle of town.

Gerry Wood received the Order of Canada award in 2019 for his dedication to the community.

Okotoks Ford and Okotoks Volkswagen are holding an anniversary event on September 8 and 9, and more details can be found on their Facebook page and website