On Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, Grace Stewart and Charlene Fassbender from the Thank-you for Caring Society visited the Langley Christmas Bureau’s temporary location at Timms Community Centre to present bureau coordinator Velma MacAllister (centre) with a cheque for more than $30,000. (Peter Fassbender/Special to Langley Advance Times)

On Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, Grace Stewart and Charlene Fassbender from the Thank-you for Caring Society visited the Langley Christmas Bureau’s temporary location at Timms Community Centre to present bureau coordinator Velma MacAllister (centre) with a cheque for more than $30,000. (Peter Fassbender/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Virtual Christmas Tea fundraiser raises $30,000 for Langley bureau

Local charity wrapped up giving season on Saturday

Langley Christmas Bureau may have wrapped its giving season but donations are still arriving in droves.

The Thank You for Caring Society, a Christmas Tea Fundraiser (formerly known as the Mayors’ Wives Tea), was held virtually this year and the new temporary format didn’t hamper the collection of donations in support of the local charity.

READ MORE: 200 poinsettias delivered to Langley seniors complex

On Saturday, Grace Stewart and Charlene Fassbender from the Thank-you for Caring Society visited the charity’s temporary location at Timms Community Centre to present bureau coordinator Velma MacAllister with a cheque for more than $30,000.

“Langley is so generous,” Fassbender said.

Thanks to generous donors the society was able to donate about the same they have in years past despite the event being held in a virtual format, she added.

When the event was held in-person the fundraising event typically hosted about 500 guests, this year about 200 ‘high-tea at home’ boxes were purchased where guests gathered in their household bubbles to enjoy a recorded program aired on YouTube and bid on items in a silent auction.

“We weren’t sure if we’d be able to do it, but we were very happy,” Fassbender said.

READ MORE: Langley seniors groups team up to host Christmas parade of gifts

And they weren’t doing it alone.

This year, vehicle dealership Preston GM in Langley City organized a fundraiser in support of the Christmas Tea, that also provided a $25 meal to a local full-time firefighter from a Langley Joseph Richard Group restaurant.

“So if somebody wanted to donate to the Christmas Tea, they would donate $25, the money would go to the Christmas Tea, to our society, and then a firefighter would receive a hot meal on one of their night shifts,” explained Marilyn Morgan, a member of the tea’s border of directors, who call the fundraiser a “win-win.”

In total the fundraiser contributed $2,575 to the Christmas Tea and provided meals to all full-time Township and City firefighters.

In addition to some of the larger donations gifted to the bureau this year, Matthew Purdy and his team at Toy Traders are donating $2,500.

The bureau is a regular recipient of kindness from the local toy store, often much of the money raised through visits and photos with Santa Vader early in the season. However, since social distancing made that event impossible, Purdy and his team pulled together a series of patron and staff donations, as well as contributions from a few other smaller fundraisers early in the year, to make up this donation to the cause.

Purdy and Santa Vader are hoping to be back with ‘force’ for next year’s bureau fundraiser, and the toy meister has actually been in touch with The Grinch, arranging a similar visit from the grumpy green guy with the small heart. By holding two different holiday photo sessions, Purdy hopes to make up for this year’s donation shortfall.

Although the Langley Christmas Bureau has wrapped up at its work for this holiday season, donations can be made anytime online by visiting langleychristmasbureau.com


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