An annual tradition for Langley City council is to gather together the hard-working volunteers of the community and say thank you by throwing a banquet in their honour.
Tuesday evening, that thank you was given in Hawaiian fashion with many utterances of the word “mahalo.”
Roughly 200 guests came to the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre Ballroom to be treated to a Polynesian-themed dinner and a brief round of applause for their efforts.
To capitalize on what Mayor Val van den called “a way to get out of the gloom of winter,” flowery leis were handed out to each guest, while entertainment from, fittingly, the Langley Ukulele Ensemble performed alongside live dancing.
“We are celebrating our volunteers – all of our volunteer groups that help out Langley City who make our lives so much better – we can truly not thank them enough,” van den Broek said. “We’ve got so many different service groups and organizations in our community and everybody always pulls together and this is our big thank you to them.”
Each councillor, except Counc. Teri James who could not attend, came up to the podium to call upon the names of those in attendance or associated with a specific group.
Every volunteer representing a specific organization got their moment to stand up and receive applause and recognition.
Ranging from young citizens to seniors, volunteers from all causes and backgrounds got a chance to meet with other groups and learn just how much effort goes into making Langley what it is.
Lida Magnus was recognized for her contributions with the Langley City Youth Advisory Committee and Langley Crime Prevention Task Group.
“I believe volunteers are the core [and] backbone of a community, drive passion in the community, and service others around them. Volunteers are selfless and devoted individuals that bring vibrancy to the City of Langley,” Magnus told the Langley Advance Times.
”Some of the programs we couldn’t run without volunteers,” van den Broek added. “They’re so important to us to keep things going. They help us plan the city – we’ve got people on the economic task force – we’ve got economic crime prevention; so, everything our volunteers do benefit everybody in the community.”
More than 70 volunteer organizations were recognized at the volunteer appreciation banquet including Rotary clubs, Elks clubs, arts councils, music groups, RCMP programs, and many more.
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