WHAT’S IN STORE IN LANGLEY: Businesses throwing and stomping for sick kids

In this week’s column about business happenings in Langley, Country Lumber hosts a fall fair Saturday

Axe throwing, food trucks, and games are on tap at Country Lumber this weekend.

It’s been more than 15 years since the Murrayville lumber yard and its 130+ staff , have shown appreciation to their customers in the form of a fall fair, but purchaser Matt Humphrey is confident it won’t be as big a gap in time before the next.

This year’s event is happening on Saturday, Oct. 26 – all day – with lunch being served at 11 a.m., he said, extending an invitation.

“If all our plans are a success, we are considering making it either an annual or bi-annual event,” Humphrey elaborated.

Country Lumber, which has been operating in Langley since 1981, has been involved in the community in past, holding a fundraiser to help feed the homeless, donating to local teams and clubs, and this time around they’re fundraising for BC Children’s Hospital, he explained.

“We’re hoping this event will have a big impact… The main reason why we chose children’s hospital is that it is such a worthwhile charity. So many people have had children or know of children who are dealing with devastating illnesses or extreme health risks,” Humphrey said.

“When this happens, families turn to children’s hospital and find such a warm, caring place to help everyone navigate scary and difficult situations. Children are our future. Helping as many kids as we can have a healthy and beautiful future is so important.”

The event is not only to show appreciation to customers and local contractors, but to the public, Humphrey said, noting they’ve incorporated a number of kid and family-friendly events.

At least a third of the Country Lumber staff (part-time, full-time, and contract employees) will be coming in on their regular day off to help out with the fall fair, many bringing their families along for a few hours of fun.

Humphrey chuckled when explaining how this years event started simply through a social media meeting between half a dozen staff.

My, how it’s grown, he said, noting it’s expected to involve all their staff, close to 30 of their industry-related vendors (pros on hand to talk to visitors about home renovations and inprovements), plus hundreds of guest.

“We were thinking about an idea to promoote our finishing department this autumn. The concept ‘Spruce up your home for the holidays’ was the theme. However, we all wanted to do something more. Over a period of a few weeks, a simple promotion idea exploded into a full day event with games, activities, and fundraising – with the entire company coming together to achieve something really special,” Humphrey said.

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Stomping the grapes

Again, in aid of sick kids, let me tell you about another fundraiser being hosted by a Langley business this weekend.

For the ninth year running, Township 7 winery in South Langley is hosting its popular grape stomp.

Teams of six must register in advance, with an entry fee of $33 each.

Not only is this a fun event to watch, but what I always love about these events is that it’s a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House.

The stomp runs from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Prizes for top stompers and best costumes.

For details, visit: township7.com.

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Flu shots among free health care offerings Saturday

With 60 per cent of all households in Canada living within a 10-minute drive of a Walmart store, Walmart pharmacists can be one of the most accessible healthcare providers, offering expert advice and compassion on health care issues.

This coming Saturday, Canadians in communities across the country can meet one of the more than 1,150 licensed pharmacists, offering health care services at Walmart.

As part of the annual Wellness Day (on Saturday, 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), customers will receive complimentary health care services including, glucose checks, blood pressure checks, flu vaccinations, and consultations with their local pharmacist about any health concerns.

Brampton’s Cecile San Jose, for instance, has been a pharmacist for nearly a decade and has spent more than half of her career at Walmart.

She recognizes the important role that pharmacists play in helping Canadians make their health a priority and sees Walmart’s Wellness Day as a valuable opportunity to promote good health.

“…part of our mission is to help Canadians live better. As a pharmacist that means helping people live healthier lives,” said San Jose. “Our free Wellness Day screenings can help Canadians discover underlying issues like high-blood pressure and diabetes, which they can then manage. Not only do we want Canadians to live better, we want them to stay well.”

Walmart Canada launched its first Wellness Day last spring and provided more than 11,000 free health screenings across the country.

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Good citizen nominations sought

On the heels of Thursday’s Business Excellence Awards night for the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, the community’s business advocacy and support group is already turning its attentions to its next awards event.

Since 1980, the chamber of commerce has offered the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year Award to a deserving resident of the Langley area, to thank them and recognize their outstanding contribution to the community.

This award honours an individual who contributes towards bringing together business and citizens to make a difference in the community, explained CEO Colleen Clark.

“The award is dedicated to the memory of the late Harold Stafford, who epitomized what a good citizen should be. Mr. Stafford dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort, and worked relentlessly on new initiatives to make Langley a better place to live and conduct business. Whatever project or cause Harold Stafford became involved in he attacked it with admirable tenacity and would not let it go until he had seen the project through to a successful and meaningful completion,” she explained.

The chamber is now seeking nominations for the 2019 winner of the Stafford citizen of the year award. Nominations must be received before Friday, Nov. 22. The winner will be announced during the chamber’s Christmas meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Nomination forms are available online.

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Learning during lunch, and dinner

On a chamber roll, I’d be remisce if I don’t mention a few educational events being hosted by the chamber in the days and weeks to come.

First, there are two Lunch & Learn sessions on tap.

The first is called ‘Strategies to add to your bottomline, often missed by advisor.’

This session, lead by Doug Canning – a senior financial consultant with Investors Group – is on the books for Wednesday, Oct. 30. And as is usual for most of the Lunch & Learn sessions, it’s being held at the chamebr offices, #207 8047 199th St. from noon to 1:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for chamber members, $20 for non-members. Registration required by noon on Monday, Oct. 28.

There’s another U40 specific Lunch & Learn set for Thursday, Nov. 14.

The topic on this one is ‘Growing your business with the power of social media,’ lead by 27-year-old Kendall Ballantine.

She shook up life as she knew it and traded in her high-paying corporate career for a life on the farm.

As a first generation farmer and the owner of Central Park Farms in Langley, she’s made it a goal to help develop support around local agriculture here in the Fraser Valley.

In 2018, Ballantine was awarded the chamber’s U40 businessperson of the year award and she is a regular speaker on the topics of growing your business online.

Unlike the other, this session is held at Deloitte LLP (#600 8621 201st St.) with networking and lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m., followed by a presentation and question-and-answer period from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Admission on this one is $20 for members, $30 for non-members, and RSVP is required by noon on Nov. 7.

Details are also being worked out for another Lunch & Learn at the end of November back at the chamber office.

The topic, Let’s Talk Tax, is scheduled for Nov. 20. Pre-registration is required by Nov. 18.

All pre-registration can be done by calling the chamber at 604-371-3770 or visiting their website.

The next monthly chamber dinner meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 19, focussing on the importance of corporate and individual philanthrophy.

Guests are asked to wear red in support of Giving Tuesday (happening Dec. 3) for this meeting, and will hear Dave Mann, president and founder of Isle of Mann Property Group, discuss philanthropy and involving employees in giving back.

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