Martina Boyd’s children, Zoe Boyd, Grade 1, and Henry Boyd, Grade 3, enjoy the phase one playground equipment at Fort Langley Elementary. Submitted photo

Martina Boyd’s children, Zoe Boyd, Grade 1, and Henry Boyd, Grade 3, enjoy the phase one playground equipment at Fort Langley Elementary. Submitted photo

Gala night raises cash for kids to play

The Blue Jeans and Black Tie gala is a fundraiser for new playground equipment.

The Fort Langley Elementary school parent advisory council (PAC) is inviting the community to dress up or dress down for the upcoming Blue Jeans and Black Tie fundraiser gala.

Proceeds from the gala are going towards building a new playground at the elementary school. This year, the PAC has raised just over $60,000 and needs approximately $20,000 more in order to install the new equipment this summer, according to PAC executive Martina Boyd.

“We kicked things up last year,” explained Boyd.

In 2018, the PAC installed the first phase of the playground, which replaces the old metal equipment.

“The old playground was like 1960s-70s, all metal, [with a] big rusty slide,” Boyd added.

After the new playground is complete, students will get to enjoy a fully updated playground, with multiple access points, and a rope tower structure.

The playground will be accessible to people with mobility issues, and will cater to all kids at the elementary school ages.

“There’s a whole bunch of ways to access it for climbing. It’s challenging in terms of you look at it and think ‘how am I going to get up there.’ It keeps kids active and interested. We wanted to create something for anyone to come and play,” Boyd said.

Boyd explained the PAC surveyed kids, staff, and families on what kind of new equipment they’d like to see – and the first phase has been well-received.

“Its great. They love what’s there now, there’s always kids on it. We wanted to create something for anyone to come and play on. Its a tight knit, close community, and it’s important to have spaces in a community for everyone – including children – to be active, gather, and be healthy in an outdoor and fun way.”

In the past year, Boyd said the PAC has managed to secure a few grants for the playground, including from the Township of Langley, and the Aviva Community Fund.

But to raise the last thousands to meet the PAC’s goal, the group is encouraging community members to purchase tickets for the Blue Jeans and Black Tie gala.

“Come as you are, whether you want to dress down or dress up,” added Boyd.

Gala guests can expect living music by Mark Schurch, cocktail-style dinner catered by Catering Visions, and silent and live auctions that include prizes such as trips to Whistler, North American flights, cottage getaways, artisan items, artwork, gift certificates and more.

The gala is on Friday, April 26 at the Fort Langley Community Hall from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/blue-jeans-black-tie-a-playground-fundraising-gala-tickets-56054182569/amp