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Langley’s Wagner Hills rehab centres raised more than $300K with retro telethon

Online fundraiser hearkened back to the 80’s when the facility was founded
An 80’s style telethon, held online, raised more than $300,000 for Aldergrove-based Wagner Hills addiction recovery centres on Saturday, Nov. 27. (Special to Black Press Media)

A retro Christmas telethon was a solid success for Aldergrove-based Wagner Hills addiction recovery centres on Saturday, Nov 27.

Rachel Sledding, Wagner Hills director of development, said the 80’s style show, presented online as a simulated show on an older television set, raised more than $300,000.

It hearkened back to the era when Wagner Hills was founded, in 1981, aiming to recreate a telethon filled with performances, special guests, and stories of life change.

Staged at Christian Life Assembly without an audience due to pandemic concerns, the event had a laugh track and canned applause, something Sledding said was “hilarious” and “very 80’s.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Why Langley’s Wagner Hills rehab centres are holding a retro telethon

Hosts were Jay Lungren and Wagner Hills executive director Jason Roberts.

“We also had cooking segments with our director of culinary, chef Jayson Martel.”

Describing the results as “really good,” Sledding said the telethon will likely be repeated.

”We are hoping to rebroadcast it very soon to keep the momentum going.”

Last year, Wagner Hills raised $750,000 and is hoping to do even better this year, Sledding explained.

“If we hit $1 million it would be life changing for our men and women”

The live broadcast gave a glimpse of the vision that founder Helmut Boehm had 40 years ago to “spark wonder with us for the next 40 years of healing growth and transformation,” Sledding said.

Wagner Hills founder Helmut Boehn, seen here with his wife Linda. (file)
Wagner Hills founder Helmut Boehn, seen here with his wife Linda. (file)

“Wagner Hills rely heavily on the generosity of our donors to continue the life changing work we do,” Sledding said.

“The programs we offer provide hope, joy and healing to our residents, and what better time of year to celebrate these themes that at Christmas? Every dollar donated is directed to healthy meals, safe accommodations and the programs that provide our residents with an opportunity to work and develop the skills and support networks they need to thrive.”

Donations can still be made at

Part of a working farm, Wagner Hills participants work on the farm and in the workshop creating products and giftware that are sold at The Market, open to shoppers for on-site or online. They also participate in counselling, classes, worship services and other supportive programming.

Throughout the past 40 years, over 5000 people have come to Wagner Hills seeking transformation and support.

READ ALSO: Vital Langley program builds recovery through community

Wagner Hills Men’s Campus is a 45-acre farm near Aldergrove,. The farm has greenhouses, barns, animals and a workshop beside the New Life Centre.

The Women’s Campus, a 50 acre farm, is located in the heart of the Campbell Valley near Langley. The property has the Stevenson House of Hope, a market, workshops, green houses, a gymnasium, gardens and animals.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Dan Ferguson has worked for a variety of print and broadcast outlets in Canada and the U.S.
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