In memory of a family dog, Jamie Ruscheinski’s in-laws put together doggie goodie bags that could be handed out during the RAD Santa charity photo shoot.
Jamie’s mother and father-in-law recently lost their furry family member, Lava.
The treats they gave out in Lava’s memory during the photo sessions at Potters Nursery last week were “a huge hit with the owners, and of course, their furry pals,” said Jamie’s twin brother and co-host of the event, Chris.
The goodies were so “pupular” in fact, that “a golden retriever dove head-first into the bowl when I wasn’t looking and came out with an entire mouthful of doggie bags,” Chris recounted with a chuckle.
Chris and Jamie, both of Langley, held their second annual charity photo with Santa on Thursday.
For the first hour, it was all about the pets. The rest of the night, it was about families getting their pictures with Santa.
The inaugural event last year saw about 50 families or groups go through, and it raised $2,500 – with Potters matching the donation dollar for dollar.
Even though the event was moved from the weekend to a weekday, Chris said it was “way busier this year.”
And this year, they raised $4,500, he added, noting all the money goes to Canuck Place in Abbotsford.
“The numbers were great,” Chris said. “More than double the previous year. The rain held out for most of the night, and the line up moved quickly.”
Last year, the RAD Santa photo shoot was held the same day as the twin’s new fundraising Long-table Christmas Gala. This year the two events were shifted to different days, and Chris described it was a good move.
New at the photo event this year was a gift-buying component.
During last year’s gala, the boys pre-purchased specifically requested Christmas gifts for the children who are living at the Abbotsford hospice.
In turn, attendees were the allowed to purchase those gifts – which ranged from $10 and up. Given the popularity of the gift buying program at the gala, Chris said the concept was extended to the RAD Santa photo event. And it turned out to be a hit, once again, he said.
“The best part was watching parents teach their children that the toy they were purchasing was for a child at Canuck Place,” Chris said.
“The kids were really happy to do so, and some asked their parents to buy more than one. It was pretty cool. We have all of the toys wrapped up and ready to deliver.”
• Stay tuned to the Langley Advance for a story and photos
from Saturday night’s sold out Long-table Christmas Gala
– which was also held at Potters