Rockers raise $9,000

A sold-out crowd rocked the night away on March 31 when rock and blues musicians got together at the KinVillage Community Centre in Tsawwassen to help raise funds to build a centre in Ladner for children with special needs.

The Rockin' for Reach benefit concert and dance raised just under $9,000 for Reach Child and Youth Development Society and its Building for Children Together project to construct a community-based child development centre in Ladner for children and youth with autism and developmental disabilities.

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The centre, which will be built on land provided by the Corporation of Delta at the edge of Memorial Park, will include therapy and counselling rooms, youth program areas, specialized lending libraries and an inclusive preschool with an accessible playground. It will also have an expanded community events room, meeting space for the Kinsmen Club and space for other organizations in the community supporting children and youth with special needs.

Reach, along with its partner, the Kinsmen Club of Ladner/ Tsawwassen, is raising $4 million to build the centre.

Young Tsawwassen musicians Carter Low and Tyson McIlroy opened the show captivating the crowd with their instrumental guitar artistry. Legendary Vancouver band Incognito followed, playing three sets of rock and blues favourites, packing the dance floor with the enthusiastic crowd. Later, Incognito was joined by Ken Boychuk and Jerry Doucette, who closed the show with his 1970s hit Mama Let Him Play.

Approximately 280 people attended the event and purchased silent auction and other prizes to help raise the money. The event was sponsored by the Kinsmen Club of Ladner/ Tsawwassen, Century Group, Envision Financial and Delta Cable, and food for the evening was provided by Thrifty Foods in Tsawwassen. Other prizes were donated by a host of Delta businesses.

"We are so pleased at the success of the first Rockin' for Reach event," said Cathy Nidoski, communications director for Reach.

"We could not have done it without the help of our sponsors, businesses in the community that donated all of the prizes, the volunteers and, of course, the musicians.

"We want to thank Rob Montgomery of Incognito in particular for putting in so much time and effort helping us to organize the event. We also want to thank everyone who came out and purchased tickets and fundraising items."

Reach is planning on making the Rockin' for Reach an annual event. For more information about Reach and its building project, visit www.reachdevelopment.org.

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