Celebrity Christmas Toy and Food Drive organizer Andy Bhatti said counsellors will be on hand Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Murrayville for the annual event which is, for the first time, offering a stay at a rehab facility as well as a chance to get celebrity autographs and bid on donated Christmas gifts. (Langley Advance Times file)

VIDEO: A gift of recovery offered by Langley Celebrity Christmas Toy and Food Drive

Six-week stay in Thai rehab facility would normally cost more than $30,000 Canadian

A stay at an addiction treatment clinic in Thailand is being offered by the annual Celebrity Christmas Toy and Food Drive in Langley.

Organizer Andy Bhatti, an Aldergrove drug and alcohol interventionist who works with addicts and their families, said one person will be offered a six-week stay at the Cabin rehab facility in Chiang Mai, Thailand that would normally cost more than $30,000 Canadian.

Counsellors will be on hand Sunday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Murrayville, at 22196 50th Ave.

“Anyone who has been a victim of sexual trauma can come down,” Bhatti told the Langley Advance Times.

If people are too shy to attend the toy and food drive, or worried about being seen talking to a counsellor, Bhatti said they can email support@andybhatti.com and he will arrange to have them interviewed.

Bhatti explained whoever qualifies will have to cover the cost of the flight to and from Thailand, but it is otherwise free.

They will also have to be interviewed by staff at the Cabin before they are approved, he added.

“I’ve been sending clients there for four or five years with a lot of success,” Bhatti related.

“They’ve offered to give us two beds a year.”

Online, the Cabin website describes “top-end amenities including dedicated hospital, private villas, tropical fauna-fringed swimming pools, a fully equipped fitness centre and open-air restaurants serving fine fusion cuisine.”

“It’s like a high-end village,” Bhatti described.

“Most of the counsellors who are there, are Canadian.”

Bhatti added assistance will also be provided to other people who attend the event, who can’t afford private care.

“We’ll tell them where to get help,” Bhatti said.

“We’re going to help them get into funded programs in B.C.”

READ MORE: Celebrity Christmas Food and Toy drive benefits victims of abuse

READ MORE: Langley’s Andy Bhatti wins Courage to Come Back Award

Kirk McLean, Dave Babych and Gino Odjick of the Vancouver Canucks, and Katie Stuart from the television show The 100 will be on hand, accepting donations of non-perishable foods, unwrapped toys or cash and signing autographs.

They will also be raffling off a signed Sydney Crosby jersey and a kid-sized driveable Jeep from Langley Chrysler.

There will be no bidding on the rehab offer.

Last year, Bhatti said the event raised enough to help eight families, “about $8,000 worth of stuff.”

“This year, our goal is to do 10.”

All donations will go to Sophie’s Place Youth Child Advocacy Centre, which is based out of Surrey but has a satellite office in Langley City.

Founded by Sophie Tweed-Simmons, daughter of KISS frontman Gene Simmons and Canadian model and actress Shannon Tweed, the centre helps children who have experienced trauma, including sexual abuse.

For Bhatti, addiction and sexual abuse are deeply personal issues.

He became addicted to heroin after being sexually abused from the ages of nine to 13.

His abuser, who volunteered as a Big Brother through Langley Big Brothers and Big Sisters at the time, was later convicted of sexually abusing two boys in Kamloops.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Village, a secure dementia facility, opened in Brookswood a few years back. It was the subject of a recent COVID outbreak, which was declared over on Oct. 30, 2020. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
COVID outbreaks declared over in Langley care homes

Brookswood and Fort Langley seniors facilities given all clear by B.C.’s top doctor

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Police took one person into custody on Friday afternoon after a report of an assault. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley RCMP converge to take one into custody over assault report

Police apprehension was near 203rd Street between Fraser Highway and 56th Street after brief chase

Aldergrove Kodiaks open the 2020-2021 season with a four game winning streak. (Aldergrove Star files)
Aldergrove Kodiaks start COVID restricted season with a roar

Playing in cohorts, the junior hockey team’s first game against Surrey Knights resulted in 7-0 win

Award-winning journalist receives award from her alma mater

Andrea Woo receives distinguished alumni award from KPU

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read