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Langley couple’s anniversary fundraiser far exceeds goal

$5oK for 50th is a project by a couple to support youth mental health
On their honeymoon back in the 1970s, the Marrs took a VW camper van across Canada. For their 50th anniversary they’re repeating the trip, in the comfort of a motorhome, to raise money for Project Resiliency. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The $50K for 50th fundraiser created by a Langley couple for their milestone anniversary has surpassed its $50,000 goal.

The total as of early May sits at $73,000, pushed to that amount by the April 22 spring fundraiser at West Langley Hall.

The fundraising event is in support of the Langley School District’s counselling program, Project Resiliency. This counselling program encourages the consideration and incorporation of healthy coping strategies and establishes positive adult supports within the school and community, explained Alicia Rempel, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.

50k for 50th ( is the project of Chuck and Lorraine Marr whose son died in 2009 while struggling with mental health problems and addiction.

What started as a cross-country holiday to retrace their honeymoon journey 50 years ago, morphed into a huge fundraising campaign to help other youth before they are in crisis. With the support of Jim and Glenda Johnston, the Spring Fundraiser was planned by a group of local volunteers as an evening of inspiration and entertainment.

The event which drew 160 attendees was supported by well-known figures such as Jim McGregor, the emcee and auctioneer. Evening entertainment was donated by guitarist Dave Beer, The Seabillys, and Johnny Elvis (Jonathan Hicks).

Langley City councillors Rosemary Wallace, Leith White and Teri James along with Langley Township councillors Barb Martens and Tim Baillie, and Langley School District trustees Charlie Fox, Tony Ward and Sarb Rai were on hand to show their support. Surrey South MLA Elenore Sturko, a former RCMP officer who was at the scene when the Marrs’ son died, and with her wife attended to support Langley students. She also donated a return trip by helijet to Victoria for the live auction.

The school district foundation administers Project Resiliency which was created in Langley. Students can self-refer to the program to get help or parents, other loved ones, or school staff can reach out on behalf of a student who must agree to take part in the program.

Two students gave the audience a memorable account of how Project Resiliency positively changed their lives.

“One of the most touching aspects to the evening was hearing directly from students affected by mental health challenges and substance abuse. Their experience with Project Resiliency clearly made an impact. We were all deeply proud of their bravery, sharing their stories and facing their fears,” Rempel said.

An enthusiastic crowd participated in a silent auction, a live auction, and games while visiting with friends and enjoying the meal served by volunteers, Rempel added. Many businesses donated items for the auctions and games.

“Seeing such tremendous support from businesses was a humbling experience,” said Chuck Marr.

It was a fun evening where the positive energy was equally matched by the generosity of the attendees. In excess of $41,000 was raised that evening. The campaign’s running total has surpassed $73,000 and still counting, Rempel noted.

Chuck and Lorraine set out May 1 on their cross-Canada campaign to spread awareness.


• READ MORE: They saved up $20,000 to help son get started in life

• READ MORE: Marrs support MLAs private members bill


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Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Award-winning reporter and photographer Heather Colpitts has spent her career working at community newspapers, starting in 1992
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