By Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance Times
Anyone who has needed the support of Variety – the Children’s Charity, knows how much work the organization does for families with children who have special needs.
Of course, many of those families live in the Fraser Valley. So to thank sponsors and recognize recipients in the area, a new event – Variety’s One Night in the Valley Gala – is coming to Cloverdale this weekend – and a couple of key players from Langley are part of the festivities.
Among the Langley-based faces taking part in Saturday’s Variety event is Peter Heppner, president of Preston Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac.
He said he was wrangled into taking part in the event a number of months ago, when it was in the planning stages. The company became the title sponsor of the evening.
“What appealed to me is that Variety was wanting to show their gratitude to the Fraser Valley because they have a lot of donors out this way and they have a lot of recipients for their programs so they’re trying to demonstrate how important the area is for them,” Heppner said.
“Their work is sort of in keeping with the things we like to support.”
The event on April 27 is at the Cloverdale Agriplex and will include an upscale country feast prepared by MasterChef winner, David Jorge and presenting sponsor Joseph Richard Group’s Blank Canvas Catering.
“When they were trying to develop their theme around country music and rodeo, someone decided that they better find someone with some pickup trucks,” Heppner explains.
“So I met with the organizers and found out more about what they are trying to accomplish. It fits really well with our core values, which is trying to give back in a way that benefits kids in our local community,” he elaborated.
It’s the first time Variety has hosted an event like this east of the Port Mann Bridge.
More than 400 guests will be invited to the One Night in the Valley gala.
It’s a special kind of country evening, in that Langley’s own platinum-selling country recording artist Dallas Smith will also be front and centre.
He’s performing a private concert at the event.
There will also be private saloons for spirit tasting, a country lounge, dancing on the big stage, auctions, and much more.
“There’s a tailgate party that starts the evening out front and that’s where the pickup trucks are involved, because they qualify for the tailgate,” Heppner said.
“And we have some new models of pickup trucks this year, so the timing is very good for us.”
Heppner is proud of the support the community has for various events, and while he wishes Preston could support them all, his team has narrowed their criteria down to giving back to kids and young families.
That includes soccer, hockey, schools and events like the Variety’s One Night in the Valley gala, which helps kids with special needs and their families.
“The area is absolutely blessed with an enormous community involvement, charitable efforts, so there’s always a huge menu of things you can do. You can’t do it all,” he explained.
“If you can still get a ticket [to the One Night in the Valley gala] I would say, if you just do a little bit of homework on what Variety Club does in our community, it seems pretty obvious that you would be interested in supporting it, as they’re putting on a first-class event here that’s going to be a little different, about a week head of the rodeo,” Heppner concluded.
A solid country flavour is the essence of One Night in the Valley. Find more information online.