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Willowbrook mall’s new concept attracts hundreds to charity shopping night

Rotary and Big Brother Big Sister join hands for a fun night

Willowbrook Shopping Centre’s seventh annual Charity Shopping Night, which was, for the first time jointly organized by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley and Rotary Club of Langley Central, was a success.

More than 850 guests attended the Saturday evening ‘Holiday Glamorama,’ helping Big Brothers Big Sisters raise more than $7,000.

The local Rotary Club, which brought its more than 30-years-old Fraser Valley Wine Festival to the shopping night, is yet to calculate the fundraiser amount, but Rotarian Stew McIvor described the event as a “great success.”

In the past, the Rotary Club of Langley Central has hosted the wine tasting independently, raising about $15,000 every year.

The two organizations have yet to decide if they will continue the partnership next year and organize the event together, but the option is still on the table.

Roslyn Henderson, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley, said the partnership is still in the beginning phase, and she is not sure what the collaboration might look like for next year.

“But, we enjoyed working with them.”

In addition to proceeds from the raffle and wine tasting, the two organizations also benefitted from entry ticket sales – the amount is yet to be calculated.

In the past, the charity shopping night has raised about $30,000 for local charities.

The event has been popular amongst people looking for holiday sales and a fun night out to help local causes. Many stores ran exclusive promotions and offered, plus the mall organized giveaways, as well as $20,000 worth of prizes.

While many went on a shopping spree, some simply enjoyed the holiday decorations by taking pictures under the Christmas tree or the giant Santa car.

There were long lineups to get pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, but people excitedly waited on the red carpet as they enjoyed wine tastings from more than 20 local wineries and complimentary appetizers from the mall.

“I want to thank the shopping centre and Rotary for including us in this event and helping us support the community,” said Henderson.

Michelle Abbott, store manager at the Body Shop, said the event was a busy day as dozens of shoppers visited her outlet.

Langley resident Julia Bazso, who came with her grandmother, Mary Latka, enjoyed taking photographs the most.

For Aryan Chopra, a local resident and film maker, wine tastings were the best part. He visited almost all of the 20 local winery stations.

“The price and quantity was great,” he said.


RELATED: Shoppers invited to mall in Langley for charity shopping

READ MORE: VIDEO: 350 attend annual Christmas tea fundraiser in Langley


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Tanmay Ahluwalia

About the Author: Tanmay Ahluwalia

Tanmay Ahluwalia is a journalist with a digital mindset and a proud alumnus of the University of Delhi.
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