WHAT’S IN STORE: Langley’s flippin’ for flapjacks

In this week’s business column, folks are encouraged to chow down on some pancakes to help sick kids.

IHOP is firing up the griddle again, making copious quantities of pancakes in aid of sick kids, and I’m hoping you’ll join me for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the local restaurant on Tuesday to help the cause.

Each year, IHOP hosts its national pancake day in support of BC Children’s Hospital. They serve up free short stack buttermilk pancakes, simply asking patrons to in turn donate to this worthy hospital – a facility that cares for kids with critical health care needs – 93,000 last year alone.

In only five years of running this program in Canada, IHOP has managed to raise $275,000. Last year, they served up more than 20,000 pancakes and raised $50,000 of that total. The goal this year is $60,000.

The fundraiser runs Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., including at the IHOP on the Langley Bypass. Might see you there.

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Getting fit in the village

Okay, so once you’ve attended the national pancake day, you too may be needing to consider a membership in Langley’s newest fitness facility.

Timely to note that Meray Froese is opening a boutique fitness studio in the heart of Fort Langley called Reward Fitness.

It will be offering a range of co-ed classes for people of all ages and fitness levels, including toning and strength classes, yoga, and barre sessions, boxing lessons, and cardio conditioning.

Froese said she is passionate about helping both men and women fall in love with exercise, and adapt a healthy lifestyle.

She’s kicking it off with a launch party on Saturday, March 9. Visit their website for details: https://rewardfitness.ca.

Chamber agenda stacking up

There are a number of events in the cards for the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce this month, including a U40 Lunch & Learn session being held today (Thursday, March 7) at the Deloitte offices in Langley, #600-8621 201st St..

This event features Sara Hodson talking about young entrepreneurs.

The session runs from noon until 1:30 p.m., and is $20 for chamber members, or $30 for general admission – with lunch included.

Also on tap today, in chamber world, is one of the regular meet-and-greet events.

This time, the chamber invites the business community within the South Langley borders to come out for an afternoon of networking, complimentary appetizers, and a chance to meet the chamber’s area community director, Brad Kiendl – plus a few other members of the board.

It’s also a chance to get some questions answered, said chamber president Jack Nicholson.

“The chamber put on four successful networking open house events last year, so we are continuing them again this year as a way for our board of directors to connect with chamber members in their own neighbourhoods,” added the prez.

The South Langley networking open house is happening on Thursday, March 7, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Langley Golf & Banquet Centre (21550 44 Avenue, Langley). The even is free for all guests to attend, but event registration is required by calling the chamber at 604-371-3370.

And the chamber happenings are only getting started for March.

Next up on the list is an event aimed at non-profit organizations.

The chamber is hosting a workshop in Fort Langley aimed at helping operators of non-profits engage skilled volunteers.

Through the interactive workshop, folks will be able to explore practices that support the successful engagement of knowledge philanthropists, or skilled volunteers, and they’ll learn how to proactively plan for, attract, and engage knowledge philanthropists in their work, said Nicholson.

This session runs Wednesday, March 13, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Fort Langley Golf Course.

Admission is $35 for chamber members, $45 for general admission, including coffee and snacks. It is not a lunch.

More information is available on the chamber website at: www.langleychamber.com.

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Liquor stores help fundraiser for dry grads

BC Liquor Stores are again giving dry graduation events the proverbial thumbs up, as part of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch’s annual Support Dry Grad fundraising campaign.

During the month of March, the provincially run stores are encouraging customers to donate a dollar or more to support alcohol-free graduation celebrations in their communities. Naturally, that drive includes the Langley stores.

In return, customers will receive a bright ‘thumbs up’ sticker to write their name on and display in-store to show their support for dry graduation events.

In 2019, 55 school districts, equating to 338 schools, will benefit from the proceeds of the support dry grad campaign.

All donations made in Langley will go to the local school district, and be distributed to public high schools and participating independent schools that are planning alcohol-free graduation activities.

Last year, BC Liquor Store customers raised more than $275,000 to help students around the province celebrate their graduations with fun, alcohol-free events and activities, such as skating, bubble soccer, karaoke and excursions to the Vancouver Aquarium, explained Blain Lawson, general manager and CEO of the Liquor Distribution Branch.

“Every year we look forward to supporting alcohol-free graduation celebrations for students around the province, and every year our BC Liquor Stores customers blow us away with their generosity and support of this important campaign. The LDB’s dry grad campaign is one of our more significant initiatives and highlights our commitment to social responsibility and keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.”

Since its inception in 2001, the campaign has raised more than $6.82 million towards alcohol-free graduation events.

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Expanding its retail cannabis footprint

Speaking of mind-altering substances, I’d like to turn my attention for a moment to a Langley-based cannabis cultivator.

Zenabis Global Inc., which has facilities in Atholville, N.B., Delta, plus a potential 2.1-million-square-feet of greenhouse space in Langley, has been given the green light to distribute to recreational cannabis to our neighbours to the east – namely Alberta.

They’ll be supplying retailers throughout the province with seven strains of what they call “premium, adult-use” product, through a supply agreement reached with Alberta’s Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission.

On Feb. 4, Zenabis announced an agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart, adding a major new retail channel to serve medical patients across Canada, explained Zenabis CEO Andrew Grieve.

“We are thrilled to offer our products to Alberta consumers, and to grow our distribution platform in a significant new market,” he said. “We look forward to continuing the rapid expansion of our distribution relationships in Canada and abroad.”

Alberta is lucky number eight for Zenabis, which already has distribution relationships with government and third-party retailers/distributors British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon Territory.

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