Despite an unexpected change of location, the 38th annual Kruise 4 Kids event in Langley turned out to be a record-setter on Sunday, Nov. 7.
Rick Farmer, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Car Club Council, the group that organizes the collection of toys and cash donations, said the event had been planned for the Langley Events Centre.
But when the LEC banquet room turned out to be unavailable, and so did the parking lot, due to a film shoot, organizers shifted to the George Preston rec centre parking lot at 20699 42nd Ave.
Farmer estimated 165 cars took part, which is close to normal, all bringing donations and toys for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.
“They [donors] filled a trailer and half-filled a van with toys,” Farmer told the Langley Advance Times.
“The bureau was pleased.”
Even better, the cash donation tally looked like a record.
The previous all-time best was recorded during the 25th anniversary of the Kruise for Kids, when just under $30,000 came in.
“This year, we may have surpassed that,” Farmer remarked, with a initial count placing the total at just over $30,000.
This year’s Kruise for Kids also memorialized long-time participant Jordan McRae of Surrey, who passed away in July.
“He was a tremendous supporter for at least two dozen years,” Farmer recalled.
McRae and his wife Carol were regular winners of best costume and best decorated vehicle prizes, Farmer recalled.
“He will be missed, terribly,” Farmer said.
The only bad part of the event was a sudden gust that knocked trophies for best decorated car and best costumes off a display table, causing damage that will have to be repaired, Farmer said.
“There was some crazy wind,” Farmer commented.
If a donor goes through the Christmas Bureau, they are asked to declare the donation for Kruise 4 Kids.
Last year, the bureau served approximately 700 families across the Lower Mainland.
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