Three-year-old Spencer Wong was first in line to meet “Darth Santa” at Toy Traders. The Sunday event was a fundraiser for the Langley Christmas Bureau. Black Press photo

VIDEO: ‘Darth Santa’ raises money to help needy Langley families this Christmas

Event at Toy Traders in support of Langley Christmas Bureau

Legendary Star Wars villain Darth Vader marched into the Toy Traders store on the Langley Bypass Sunday morning, accompanied by armoured Imperial storm troopers and other dangerous-looking lackeys.

Hundreds of excited kids and parents were waiting for the Dark Sith Lord, who had added a bright red Santa hat to his ominous dark costume.

It was a fundraiser for the Langley Christmas Bureau.

“This one caught us by surprise,” Bureau manager Velma MacAllister said as she watched people dropping off donations of cash and presents for the privilege of being photographed with “Santa Vader.”

“This is a new one,” she said.

It is the fourth year that the event has been staged by members of the “Outer Rim Garrison,” a group of B.C. Star Wars fans devoted to creating exact replicas of the costumes from the classic film series.

Toy Traders owner Matthew Purdy said the event has raised money for a variety of different charities through the years.

This year, they chose the bureau, which provides Christmas cheer to hundreds of Langley families each year.

The six-hour event raised $5,000, a record, said Purdy.

“There was a ton of toys, too.”

MacAllister said the ‘Darth Santa” fundraiser is one of a number of new donors that have come forward to help the bureau at a time when demand is expected to rise 10 per cent from the previous year.

So far, she said 700 children have been registered.

“That equates to 320 families,” MacAllister said. “And we still have four weeks to go.”

Last year, the bureau assisted 787 families, which included 1,800 children.

“These aren’t people who are not working or homeless,” MacAllister said. She clarified a common misconception that their clients are people who are finding the rising cost of living harder to cope with.

READ MORE: Star Wars characters lend hand to Langley Shriners

READ MORE: The Force was strong with Vader Santa in Langley

This year the bureau opened its seasonal office in a new location, at 120-19860 Langley Bypass. It will remain open until Dec. 19 to accept donations.

Open Mondays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the bureau is looking for new, unwrapped, new toys and $25 gift cards. Donations can also be dropped off in Aldergrove, at 26959 Fraser Hwy., on Mondays and Wednesdays until Dec. 12.

For more details and drop-off hours, visit http://www.langleychristmasbureau.com/contact-us/ or call 604-530-3001.

For a second year, the bureau is also partnering with Newlands Golf & Country Club to hold the Children’s Wish Breakfast.

Last year’s breakfast drew more than 1,000 people, collected 1,200 gifts, and raised $4,000.

READ MORE: Children’s Wish Breakfast returns for a second year

This year’s version is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov.27 from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the golf club located at 21025 48th Ave.

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

 

Hundreds of children attended the ‘Darth Santa’ fundraising event for the Langley Christmas Bureau at Toy Traders. Black Press photo

Langley Christmas Bureau manager Velma MacAllister attended the ‘Darth Santa’ fundraiser. Black Press photo

Just Posted

Pregnant Langley woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Budget, 208th Street, housing on Langley Township agenda Monday

Council has a full plate of meetings starting at 10:30 a.m.

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants head coach records 200th win with 3-2 victory in Kelowna

Michal Kvasnica and David Tendeck named stars of the game

Sun will be visible Monday in Langley – briefly

Breaks in the clouds expected before a return to rain for the week

LETTER: Questioning if some councillors should step back from big decisions – pending court outcome

With tax rate being set, one letter writer argues if some council members should refrain from voting

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Woman guilty of dangerous driving crash that left Saanich girl, then 11, unresponsive

Nikirk guilty of one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Most Read