A rain-soaked Kruise For Kids collects toys for needy families

Just over 100 participants brought new, unwrapped toys to the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Just over 100 participants brought new, unwrapped toys to the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Miserable weather may have deterred some from attending the annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. While toy contributions were down, cash donations were up. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Miserable weather may have deterred some from attending the annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. While toy contributions were down, cash donations were up. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Winners of “best decorated” and “best dressed driver and crew” at the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. Mavis and Mike in Mavis’s 1959 Fury. The BC Hotrod Association won “best club turnout.” (Kylie Ivers/Whale Tail Media)Winners of “best decorated” and “best dressed driver and crew” at the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. Mavis and Mike in Mavis’s 1959 Fury. The BC Hotrod Association won “best club turnout.” (Kylie Ivers/Whale Tail Media)
Winners of “best decorated” at the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City was this 1959 Fury. (Kylie Ivers/Whale Tail Media)Winners of “best decorated” at the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City was this 1959 Fury. (Kylie Ivers/Whale Tail Media)

After two years of miserable weather for the annual Kruise For Kids toy drive, Rick Farmer knows one thing for sure.

“Next year, it will be back inside, by hook or by crook,” said Farmer, who spent a rain-soaked day with other volunteers in the parking lot of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Langley campus, taking delivery of toy donations for needy families.

The first year of the pandemic, in 2020, the event had to be moved outside in the Langley Events Centre parking lot to maintain social distancing, but the weather was good.

By the afternoon, Farmer recalled, it was warm enough for him to take his jacket off.

A volunteer loaded toys at the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. While toy contributions were down, cash donations were up. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A volunteer loaded toys at the 39th annual Kruise For Kids toy drive held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University parking lot in Langley City. While toy contributions were down, cash donations were up. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Weather for the next one, held at the George Preston rec centre in 2021, was cold and windy, but despite that, donations hit a record high.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A record-setting 38th annual Kruise 4 Kids event in Langley

On Sunday, Nov. 6, for the 39th Kruise For Kids event, conditions were even worse, with heavy rain and chilly winds ripping through the Lower Mainland.

Farmer, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Car Club Council, the group that organizes the collection of toys and cash donations, explained calling it off was never an option for what is believed to be the longest running automotive event of its kind.

“Our goal is to never skip a year” Farmer explained.

Perhaps because of the poor weather, the number of vehicles bringing in toys this year was down, to 101, compared to the 165 the previous year, but the amount of cash contributions was up, and expected to exceed the $32,000 record set last year once the tally was completed.

Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau executive director Chris Bayliss was bundled up in protective rain gear for the day.

“It’s not the best day out here today, but its not snowing “ Bayliss laughed.

Bayliss reported more people are seeking help from the bureau, which assisted close to 1,000 families last year.

“We’re getting a lot of calls,” Bayliss told the Langley Advance Times.

“There’s a lot of pent up demand,” he said. “With the cost of living, the cost of food, plus the rent costs, a lot of lower income working families are accessing our services and all the other bureau services.”

Bayliss also predicted Kruise For Kids will be a fully indoor event next year.

“This is still a hybrid event, it’s a drive-through,” he noted.

“Next year we’ll do a full [indoor] event with tables and everything.”

Anyone who would like to contribute can still do so by visiting the Kruise 4 Kids website or the Christmas Bureau at lmcb.ca to make donations. If a donor goes through the Christmas Bureau, they are asked to declare the donation for Kruise 4 Kids.

READ ALSO: Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau brings the holidays to 700 families

Since 1930, the LMCB has been working to bring Christmas to families in need.

More photos from the day can be viewed on the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.


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Charity and DonationsKwantlen Polytechnic UniversityLangleyLangley City