Banquet raises $100,000 for Reach's new centre

Last Saturday night's Reach for the Stars Gala reached the six-figure mark for the third year in a row.

Held at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn, the fifth annual banquet once again raised money for Reach's Building for Children Together campaign, which is financing a new child development centre in the heart of Ladner.

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"The positive energy radiating from the 270 guests and volunteers who came together in support of Reach on Saturday evening was overwhelming and filled my heart with immense warmth and pride at being a part of such an amazing organization," said Reach fundraising manager Kristin Bibbs. "It was truly an incredible demonstration of how deeply Reach is valued within our community."

May Days Choir youth, including members with autism, received a standing ovation for their performance of Fight Song. Local resident and 104.3FM radio host Kelly Latremouille emceed the event while Coun. Ian Paton acted as auctioneer.

With the support of presenting sponsors Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and Canadian Autoparts Toyota (CAPTIN), as well as other sponsors, raffles, auction donors and guests, the gala raised $100,000 for children and youth with special needs.

TFN Chief Bryce Williams gave a traditional welcome and Delta MP Carla Qualtrough sent a congratulatory message that was read at the beginning of the evening. Qualtrough praised the Building for Children Together initiative, stating, "The new Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children will be a tremendous benefit not only for the people accessing services but for the entire community. Its presence will display the potential that every person with a developmental disability has."

Reach is raising the final $500,000 of the $5.7-million project goal.

Construction is underway adjacent to the Ladner Pioneer Library. It is scheduled to be finished in mid-September.

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