Caroline Lynn rides Hercule over a jump at the final day of the Canadian Premier on Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park. It was the 14th annual Grand Prix Gala that raises funds for the Langley school district. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

VIDEO: Langley Grand Prix gala sets a record for contributions

Participants contributed $80,000 to help fund school programs

While more than 250 people sipped fine wines and sampled appies at the Langley Grand Prix, there was a flurry of activity, some of it behind the scenes and some of it in plain sight.

Canuel Caterers, supplier of the tasty delicacies on the tables, was busy plating course after course in a temporary fabric shelter by the entrance.

In a small arena off to one side, riders were busy warming up their horses, checking their gear and waiting for their name to be called.

On the way in to what was billed as “quite possibly the best event of the year,” people passed by tables laden with silent auction items, ranging from small floral arrangements to a ready-to-assemble wooden garden arch with seats, to a weekend away.

Inside, a draped ceiling under an open roof created the effect of a luxurious tent, as attendees settled in to watch the action.

It was the final day of the Canadian Premier international horse jumping competition, with top-ranked riders guiding their steeds over a series of jumps, one of them close enough that the people in the stands were almost in touching distance.

At one point, during a break in the competition, an unusual graduation ceremony was held for students of the Langley Equestrian Academy, the unique school district program that allows some young riders to juggle their studying with their competition, while giving others a chance to benefit from the equestrian experience.

While the action played out in the main arena of the Thunderbird Show Park, the people in the roped-off section could taste food, try out wines and craft beers, and cheer on the jumpers.

“Forget about dinner,” one participant could be overheard saying.

“I’m full.”

For 14 years, the event has been raising money for school kids.

Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation charity, said the gala has grown considerably since the early days.

“We started off pretty small,” Cairns recalled.

“Now, we’re sold out three weeks before it begins.”

For the foundation, the Grand Prix is a big contributor to the $900,000 in funds they raise every year to support various initiatives, Cairns said.

“It’s one of our two major fundraisers for the year,” Cairns observed.

“It benefits every Langley student.”

This year, the Langley Grand Prix raised more than $80,000, a record.

“It was amazing,” Cairns told the Langley Advance Times, adding that was the gross before expenses, and the final net would be more like $60,000.

A lot of the increase appeared to be result of spirited bidding during the silent auction.

For example, the weekend away, in Naramata, that included a wine tour, six-course meal and accommodation, went for $3,000.

More than that, however, Cairns believes there is growing awareness about the foundation and its role in providing programs for students that the provincial government doesn’t.

“We are trying to make sure that people know there are many programs that are not funded by the ministry of education,” Cairns said.

Among the programs supported by the event is Food for Thought, the focus of the Gala campaign this year.

It helps feed about 3,000 students within the Langley School District who come to school hungry, and even provides food for evenings and weekends to some.

“We help out wherever we can,” Cairns said.

As well, the foundation is supporting “Kids Helping Kids: Kids Meeting Kids” that will see four Kenyan students and their teacher coming to Langley in November to share tales of Kenyan culture, education, traditions and experiences as they travel from school to school meeting our students and hopefully establishing life-long bonds.

READ MORE: Langley’s Grand Prix Gala is right mix of horses, hors d’oeuvres and hats

More Grand Prix photos can be viewed online.



Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter



Mayors of both Langleys and their spouses attended the 14th annual Grand Prix Gala that raises funds for the Langley school district. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

The 14th annual Grand Prix Gala that raises funds for the Langley school district is also an occasion to wear spectacular hats. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

A horse gets a shoe adjusted at Thunderbird Show Park. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Behind the scenes, Canuel caterers was preparing delicious dishes. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

A competitor leaves the arena at the final day of the Canadian Premier on Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Just Posted

Grillers compete for best meat in Langley

Rotary Clubs bring back RibFest for a second year from Aug. 16 to 18 at McLeod Park

New defenceman signs with Vancouver Giants

Brendan Pentecost played with the Delta Hockey Academy Elite 15s

VIDEO: Protesters target Langley Ribfest, a Rotary fundraiser

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Langley, Cloverdale politician Dean Drysdale dies

The businessman and reservist served on Township council

Langley’s annual blackberry bake-off spotlights invasive plant

The annual event is Aug. 22 at the Langley Demonstration Garden in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant for felony rioting

Police identify 45-year-old victim in South Surrey stabbing

Delphin Paul Prestbakmo died at the scene, near 18 Avenue and 152 Street

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Puppy rescued from smoky South Surrey condo

Fire alarms brought firefighters to the Morgan Crossing residences around 7 p.m.

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

Most Read