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Aldergrove Rotary Club’s Starfish backpacks sent home with toques and scarves

More than 10,000 backpacks have been sent home to students and families in the past five years
Rotarians Charlie Fox, George Bryce, Rob Robinson, and Lara Petrie join the ACSS Hairdressing students modelling the specially-made toques and scarves as they prepare this week’s Starfish backpacks. (Pauline Buck/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Sixty-four Aldergrove Starfish backpacks went home on Friday, Dec. 4 with the added bonus of early winter wear; a hand-knitted scarves, mittens, or toques fashioned by two dedicated volunteers.

The bonus donation is part of an annual tradition done by Aldergrove Rotary Club to help keep students warm in the wintertime.

“We are grateful to Carol Metcalfe and Audrey Kustaski, the two friends of Starfish who kindly offered their time and skill to help keep the Aldergrove Starfish students warm this winter,” said Charlie Fox, the Aldergrove Rotary Club’s Starfish coordinator.

Volunteers, including Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) hairdressing students, came together to pack the backpacks full of nutritious food, which benefited hungry students at three different schools in the community, including Parkside and Shortreed Elementary.

“It is the generosity of so many individuals and organizations in the community that keep the Aldergrove Rotary Club Starfish Program going in these challenging times,” Fox added.

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The coordinator noted that this is the fifth year the program has been in the community, and since its inception, the Starfish program has sent over 10,000 backpacks home to students and families that are in need.

COVID-19 significantly affected the program’s ability to operate and keep up with a growing demand.

People interested in helping out or sending a donation to keep the program in operation can visit


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