The Tsawwassen Shrine Club's 43rd annual salmon barbecue takes place this Sunday at Ladner Harbour Park. It's "one of the largest salmon barbecues in the Lower Mainland," says Shrine club member Michael Cruise.
The club brings in over 2,000 pounds of salmon for the annual fundraiser, which is the group's main event of the year.
Cruise notes last year's barbecue was a good one with guests enjoying beautiful weather and the club dishing out over 1,800 salmon servings.
While the cost of salmon goes up each year, Cruise explains, the club tries to keep its prices the same as a thank you to the community for supporting Tsawwassen Shrine Club charities.
"We are offering the best value for the price that customers pay," he notes.
Meals include a generous portion of salmon (around eight to 10 ounces), coleslaw, French fries, a bun with butter, coffee or juice. Refreshments like Coke or ginger ale are available for extra cost.
Proceeds from the barbecue help support the Delta Hospital and the Shriner Care Cruiser program for children. The care cruiser program is the only one of its kind in North America.
In B.C., the program provides coaches that travel throughout the province. Each coach is modified to comfortably transport physically challenged children and their parents to B.C. Children's Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Sunny Hill Hospital as well as the Shrine Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
The overall annual cost of the program is more than $1.5 million but there is no cost to the patient or government.
In 2005, the organization pledged to donate $75,000 towards the construction of the pediatric care and observation room in the emergency department at Delta Hospital.
Since its construction in 2006, the room has acted as a special place for kids. It displays unique artwork and colourful murals with the purpose of brightening the spirits and easing the stress of for child patients.
In the past four decades the club has also contributed over $285,000 to local community projects.
The North American Shriners also support and maintain 22 hospitals for the benefit of physically challenged children.
The hospitals provide orthopedic care and burn and spinal cord injury care at no charge. The nearest hospitals to the Lower Mainland are in Spokane and Portland.
The Tsawwassen Shrine Club's salmon barbecue runs from noon to 5: 30 p.m. (or until the supply of salmon runs out) on Sunday.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets will be available at the entrance to Ladner Harbour Park on the day of the barbecue. To buy tickets in advance, call 604-943-3548.
The barbecue takes place rain or shine. The club provides takeout if it's raining.
Access to Ladner Harbour Park is via the 5100-block of River Road.
For more information on the Shriners, visit www.shriners.bc.ca.