In one of Jack Froese’s last official acts as Township mayor, he’s hoping to help raise in excess of half a million dollars this weekend towards the health and well being of local youth.
Saturday evening marks the fourth annual Mayor’s Charitable Gala, presented by Township of Langley Firefighters Charitable Society (TLFCS) and sponsored by Vesta Properties.
More than 400 guests are expected at the sell-out fundraiser being held at the Langley Events Centre.
Hosted by Froese, Township council, and IAFF 4550 president Jordan Sparrow, the gala will feature a reception, a farm-to-table gourmet dinner, Township of Langley Honour Guard with the Surrey Pipe and Drum Band, a live auction, raffle, and a mix of live entertainment.
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Last year’s gala, with a much lower attendance of about 250, raised $600,000, so Sparrow is optimistic the firefighter-driven event can raise that amount or more this year.
“The gala promises a fantastic evening that will Shine a Light on causes that empower youth, and help our community to build a stronger future,” said Froese who is hosting his final gala as he is not running for re-election in October.
The school snack program and other initiatives supported by TLFCS, are vital community projects that will benefit from this year’s gala.
For seven years, the TLFCS has been ensuring children aren’t going hungry and can focus on learning by providing healthy snacks to students in Township of Langley schools, Sparrow said. Snacks are currently provided in 25 schools, and the goal is to extend the program to all 36 schools in the community.
Plus, the new Foundry Langley youth health and wellness centre will also receive funds from the event.
The centre, at 20618 Eastleigh Crescent, is bringing health and social services together in one place for youth ages 12 to 24, and their families, Sparrow explained, noting that part of the proceeds will seed an Innovation Fund for ongoing support of new programs for emerging and urgent needs at Foundry.
With the goal of highlighting youth in the community, the Langley Ukulele Ensemble – consisting of members ages 13 to 18, will perform at Saturday’s soiree, plus one of the featured speakers is Leonarda Ognjenovic, a 19-year-old member of the youth advisory committee for Foundry Langley.
Other entertainment includes special guest Emcee, Aldergrove native and TV personality Erin Cebula, Vancouver “Man About Town” Fred Lee, and local musician Karla Sax.
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Even though tickets to attend are sold out, people can still be part of the fundraiser by participating in the online auction at https://trellis.org/tlfcs/auction.
There are more than 40 items in the auction and more are being added daily.
Items include signed Canucks’ jerseys, limited edition artwork, tastings at Dead Frog Brewing and Back Yard Vineyards, experiences and gift certificates for local establishments like Rail & River Bistro and the Lodge Steakhouse, gift baskets, plus more.
Browse and bid continues until 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.
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