Not surprisingly, local businesses are starting to step up to help people displaced and traumatized by the B.C. wildfires.
Among them, Otter Co-op is leading the charge, explained marketing coordinator Sean Weatherly.
“We have all seen pictures of the fire devastation in the B.C. Interior, and can only imagine what their residents have been through this week, and what lies ahead of them,” Weatherly said. “The scale of destruction won’t be known for some time, but help and support are needed now.”
Donations are set up through the Co-op Community Fund boxes and at the tills, with money raised earmarked for the Red Cross wildfire relief efforts.
Last year, in a similar initiative, they donated $10,000 to the Fort McMurray relief efforts.
The Co-op isn’t the only one.
Boston Pizza has joined in the efforts.
Starting yesterday, the Boston Pizza restaurants across British Columbia – including one on the Langley Bypass and another in Aldergrove – will be accepting donations, in support of communities in British Columbia affected by the wildfires.
Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects (BPFFP) will also match donations, up to $25,000, announced Mark Pacinda, Boston Pizza International’s pesident and CEO.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all British Columbians impacted by this tragedy,” Pacinda said.
“With the increasing severity of wildfires throughout central British Columbia, our franchisee community and corporate staff are eager to provide support to those in need.”
BPFFP will work with community leaders and charitable organizations to not only provide immediate relief for those affected, but to also provide support in rebuilding efforts following the crisis, he said.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to all those Langley businesses quickly stepping up to assist.
Let me know if you own or operate a Langley business that is getting behind the wildfire relief efforts.
Drop me a quick email with some details and contact information.
Horn a mover-and-shaker
In the meantime, there’s a lot happening in Langley’s business community that I want to let you know about.
Let’s start by turning the spotlight on a very sweet woman, who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in one of her volunteer undertakings – namely her capacity as president of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
As the real estate market continues to heat up locally, kudos go out to realtor Deanna Horn for being recognized as one of the top 75 influencers in the Canadian real estate market today.
Horn has lived in Langley since 1970, but her family ties to the community go back some 90 years.
A realtor since 1984 and an associate broker with RE/MAX Treeland Realty in Langley, Horn works with her husband Brian and daughter Pamela.
The Horns work together as a family team successfully marketing homes, acreages, and businesses throughout the Fraser Valley. As well, Deanna is involved in local and provincial organized real estate associations and is past-president of the BC Real Estate Association and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.
It’s some of these credentials that garnered her the recent recognition and earned her a spot on the Real Estate Professional’s (REP’s) 2017 hot list.
This was the third annual report shining the spotlight on the individuals changing the face of the Canadian real estate industry, said REP journalist Clay Jarvis.
The hot list consists of 75 of the most influential developers, brokers, executives, government officials and professionals working in the Canadian real estate, he elaborated.
“Their dedication has pushed them to the forefront of the business landscape – entitling them to be the movers-and-shakers of a competitive and diverse marketplace.”
Calling people like Horn the “heart, blood, bones and nerves of this mammoth business,” he said these are the professionals who create the products and the environment that make a real estate agent’s job possible.
“Many of these faces will never appear on a billboard, but their efforts, innovative thinking and dedication have pushed them to become the best in their chosen areas of expertise,” Jarvis said.
Toys ‘N’ more
The new Langley location of Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us now stands out as the company’s premier location in Canada following it’s grand reopening this past weekend.
Toys ‘R’ Us has been a fixture of Willowbrook Shopping Centre for years, located in the former Safeway location at the north end of the mall.
But just a few weeks ago now, the toy store moved to its new, much larger digs. It now occupies a 45,000-square-foot store at the southwest end of the mall (here’s a flashback for those of us who can remember when the mall was built and that space was occupied by K-Mart) that was completely gutted and revamped to accommodate Toys ‘R’ Us and the recently relocated SportChek.
Store director Kirk Schultz seemed pleased by the weekend’s grand opening festivities that included the more formal dignitary and ribbon cutting celebrations on Saturday followed by a family fun day on Sunday.
“We have seen a lot of excitement from our customers within the community, including at our grand opening celebration – which happened last Saturday morning,” he said.
“More than 300 shoppers and kids came out to the official kick off, which included a ribbon-cutting and a prize event,” Schultz added, noting that a lucky Langley customers walked away with shopping sprees.
Schultz said he and his expanded staff in the new store are able to offer an improved shopping experience, with more toys than ever and an increase in baby items.
“As you know, any move like this requires a lot of work and we had a great team to support us, both internally and with our external partners, as we got the new store ready and made the transition into our new location.”
He noted that the new facility have integrated many digital elements including a welcome area, mobile pay options, and extended wifi to the parking lot for curbside pickup.
“Our customers will find visits to this location different from our other locations as we’ve integrated lots of great interactive areas for kids – and kids a heart – to explore and discover,” Schultz said.
On the chamber front
Businesses don’t shut down in summer, and neither does the Langley organization dedicated to promoting, educating, and advocating for businesses in this community –namely the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.
Next on the chamber agenda is the Lunch & Learn workshop being held next Wednesday, July 19.
This time out, the chamber is inviting business owners and managers to share their lunch break with Brandon Roe, the co-founder of WestEast Marketing.
He’ll be leading a workshop on how to learn a simple, et very effective way to grow revenue (and profits) for their businesses.
Brandon Roe and his business partner, Craig Jooste, have used this proprietary four-point model to help small and medium sized businesses – in 43 different industries – generate millions of dollars in revenue.
It has been used to boost profits (as much as 75 per cent) and successfully fend off competitors in high-pressure industries, Roe said.
And, “all while making life easier for the owners and managers responsible for growing a healthy company,” Roe said.
The workshop takes place next Wednesday in the chamber’s boardroom (#207-8047 199th St.) from noon to 1:30 p.m.
The cost of this Lunch & Learn seminar is $10 for chamber members, $15 for non-members. Pre-registration is required by calling the chamber at 604-371-3770 or by visiting the Chamber website at www.langleychamber.com.
Cross-country adventure Lands Langleyite a trip
To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Driving Force put two young adventurers into a 2017 Ford F-150 crew cab pickup and sent them on a journey across Canada.
They departed from Newfoundland on May 1, and arrived in the Lower Mainland – and specifically Langley and White Rock – on July 1.
Nicole Baker and Ashley Parsons spent two months driving across the country, giving Canadians a chance to win a 2017 Ford F-150 at the end of the trip simply by snapping and sharing a picture of said truck.
Well, it turns out the truck winner was from Prince George, but it was great to hear that Langley’s Adrian Ruiz walked away with the second prize – a pair of tickets to fly anywhere in Canada on West Jet.
The two travellers were on a simple mission: find whatever they find “cool” and share video and photos of their cross-Canada adventures via social media, while raising money to support the Ronald McDonald House program. The effort brought in a whopping $12,000 for the cause.
Daily updates were posted on Twitter @DFTour150. As well, their videos, photos, and blogs – capturing their journey – which featured stops at 34 Driving force locations . All this and more was posted on the vehicle rentals,sales, and leasing company’s website: www.drivingforce.ca.
The DF Tour 150 wrapped up this Canada Day weekend in BC with stops in Langley and White Rock – the last stop on Canada’s West Coast.
– Roxanne Hooper is the editor of the Langley Advance, who writes a weekly column about business in Langley