When Langley Memorial Hospital was upgrading one of its imaging machines, it was told which model to buy.
But instead of the midgrade model, the hospital installed the top-of-the line version of the same machine this year.
The difference is the $43,000 raised and donated by the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, which pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars every year into the purchase of new hospital equipment.
And for many years, the auxiliary has been given a financial boost of its own, thanks to the car buffs and volunteers who make the Langley Good Times Cruise-In into a charitable bonanza.
This year, the auxiliary, Langley Stroke Recovery, and the Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) will again benefit from Langley's biggest car show.
"It's fantastic," auxiliary president Diane Thornton said about the Cruise-In's support.
"It goes a long way into helping to buy the equipment," she said. "The hospital's always in need of more equipment."
The auxiliary has received up to $23,000 in a single year from the Cruise-In, with that money helping in turn to buy everything from new hospital beds to blood pres-sure cuffs to new chairs to replace those in the hospital's waiting areas.
For the VTEA, support from the Cruise-In helps keeps the horses fed and the riders in their saddles, said client services worker Siobhan McKenzie.
"We are extremely privileged and blessed to be sponsored by them," McKenzie told the Langley Advance.
The 14 horses at the VTEA help physically and mentally disabled riders
get exercise, improve their balance, and gain confidence.
Those horses eat a lot of hay, up to $12,000 a year.
"Without the horses, we don't have a program," said McKenzie.
Along with feeding the horses, the money from Cruise-In has recently helped upgrade the stalls in the Aldergrove barns, and a new program is involving driving carts for those clients who just can't get on a saddle.
Marilyn Piticco of Langley Stroke Recovery said her organized has been benefitting since 2007.
"They know that we are very small, very grassroots," she said.
For Langley Stroke Recovery, the Cruise-In's donation amounts to more than half the annual budget.
Without it, there would be far less money to run speech therapy, to hold word and number game sessions, and for the art ther-apy instructor.
The association works with people in recovery from strokes at all ages, whether seniors or those who have been afflicted at a young age.
All the groups provide volunteers to help man barricades at each car show, and the groups sometimes host information tents.
"It's great for awareness," said Piticco.
"We hope people will come and see us," she said.
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