It will be a few days before organizers of the in-person Thank You For Sharing Society Christmas Tea Fundraiser can report a final tally for the amount raised on Sunday, Nov. 21, but all indications are it was a success.
Co-founder Charlene Fassbender said after holding a “pretty successful” virtual version of the annual event in 2020 due to the pandemic, organizers and supporters were looking forward to holding an in-person event again.
“Lots of people were anxious to get together,” Fassbender commented.
In order to meet COVID-19 restrictions, the number of guests was limited, with about 200 people turning out for the Sunday afternoon event, which traditionally has sold out at 500 guests.
Fassbender recalled how it all began, with her, as the spouse of then-Langley City mayor Peter Fassbender, and Debbie Froese, wife of Township mayor Jack Froese, who launched the annual event formerly known as the Mayors’ Wives Tea nine years ago.
In January of 2020, Debbie Froese passed away after a long battle with cancer.
On the society website, she is remembered as a “strong, beautiful, beloved leader.”
“Now we’ve lost Debbie but we’re continuing on without her, as a legacy to her,” Fassbender told the Langley Advance Times.
“This is her dream, to put this on to help needy children and families in Langley.”
There was an unoccupied seat for Debbie at the table where Jack Froese and daughter Marilyn Morgan were sitting.
“This is her tea,” Morgan explained.
Over the previous eight years, the society has raised over $275,000 in support of Langley Families.
This year, high tea was served in individual boxes.
Karen Cameron, president Thank You For Caring Society, said organizers “felt it was the best approach to take.”
There was a silent auction, with about 60 items up for grabs in the hall outside the Cascades Casino ballroom, plus another 100 online.
More photos from the event can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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