Aldergrove Rotary Club hosted a full house of friends, pasta, and good old-fashioned bidding wars to better nourish the stomachs of hungry Aldergrove children and their families through the Starfish Backpack Program.
Dozens of friendly faces dined at St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church on Nov. 23, for Rotary’s fourth annual Pasta Party fundraiser with a ticket price of $20. Though much more was yet to be spent.
“They knew what they’d come to do,” Aldergrove Rotary president Pauline Buck said.
“They all came with the intent to give” – something that was evident over the course of the night.
After enjoying gourmet pasta and sausages provided by Rotarian Carlo Bonetti, the night livened up with the workings of a live auction.
Rotarian and former Langley Township councillor Charlie Fox started off the bidding of Rotarian Lee Sawatzky’s five homemade pies and a simple pair of socks, which were each sold to the highest bidder at an average of $400 per dessert.
“People are just that generous,” Buck chuckled.
By the end of the night, a whopping $16,000 was raised for the Starfish Backpack Program. Bonetti loaded up takeaway containers of leftover pasta sauce as another sale to bolster the group’s total amount.
Implemented by Aldergrove Rotarians in 2015, the initiative sends backpacks of food home with disadvantaged children for the weekend.
This school year 60 children from four local schools have taken them home.
In mid-December, the Rotary Club will leave children with grocery gift cards to Save-On-Foods and Otter Co-op to supplement their needs during their time away from school.
“It’s so their family can get some groceries,” Buck noted, and it will offset some of the Christmas costs families incur.
Fox, a former ACSS principal, said the Rotary club is approaching 10,000 backpacks being provided to kids in Aldergrove for the past four years at four local schools: Shortreed Elementary, Parkside Centennial Elementary, North Otter Elementary, and Betty Gilbert Middle School.
Those interested in providing an Aldergrove child with a backpack of food for this school year at a cost of $575 can visit starfishpack.com and select “Aldergrove” under the donate drop-down menu.
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