Members of a recovery program, who agreed their picture could appear in the newspaper, pose with celebrities at the Celebrity Food Drive. Black Press photo

VIDEO: Celebrities support Langley Christmas food and toy drive

Sexual abuse survivor organized annual event for people in need

There was a continuous flow of star-struck fans to the Save-On-Food Willowbrook store on Saturday, trading donations for a chance to get autographs and photos with UFC fighter and actor Jason Day, Heartland television show star Graham Wardle as well as hockey stars Theo Fleury, Dave Babich and Kirk McLean.

It was the annual Celebrity Food Drive organized by drug and alcohol intervention expert Andy Bhatti, a survivor of sexual abuse.

Among the visitors, about a dozen members of a recovery program for people fighting dugs and alcohol addiction, who lined up behind the celebrities for a group portrait.

Bhatti said the response to the initiative was up this season, though he didn’t have exact numbers.

“We’ve already filled two boxes,” Bhatti said, pointing out the truck-bed-size crates wrapped in Christmas paper at the store entrance.

“I’ve been ringing in tons of orders,” said store manager Lisa McCreadie.

READ MORE: Dealing with his demons

The campaign aims to provide age-appropriate gifts, a Christmas dinner and enough food to help families in need until February.

The donated funds go to Sophie’s Place Youth Advocacy Centre, which helps sexually abused children. It is part of the Centre for Child Development which provides programs throughout the region.

People can also give donations at an event in Guildford aimed at helping families dealing with addiction and sexual abuse.

Theo Fleury is taking part in the workshop called How Addiction Affects Families Part 2. that runs today, Sunday, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at the Guildford Golf and Country Club.

Fleury has been open about his off-ice struggles with a troubled childhood, abuse and coping with emotional pain through addictive and self-destructive behaviours in his books Playing with Fire and Conversations with a Rattlesnake that encourage open sharing and provide practical tools that people seeking help can use.

Other speakers include the head of the Cedars Cobble Hill treatment centre, addiction experts, and a psychiatrist with a specialization in child, adolescent and family care.

While the Sunday seminar is free people must sign up in advance so to ensure the resource materials are prepped.

Register through with the number of tickets needed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Hockey star Theo Fleury at the Celebrity Food Drive. Fleury was to speak at a Sunday workshop about his off-ice struggles with a troubled childhood, abuse and coping with emotional pain through addictive and self-destructive behaviours. Black Press photo

Just Posted

Fundraising during a pandemic: how Langley’s Driedger Farms handled it

Second annual event for Langley Hospice raised $3,500

LETTER: Speeders have Fort Langley resident concerned about safety

Letter writer says it’s only a matter of time before something really bad happens if change isn’t made

Vancouver Giants co-owner Michael Bublé to receive Order of B.C.

Canadian artist joined ownership group in December 2008

Real estate sales spike in Langley in July

People are busy buying and selling properties again

A ‘passionate’ athlete and student is recognized

Winner of Langley’s Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award often asked how she finds time

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read