There was much thanks being handed out last Wednesday, following news that this year's Langley Good Times Cruise-In raised about $16,000 more for charities than it did the year before.
During a volunteer thank-you dinner at Cascades Casino, praise was plentiful for the more than 110 people who attended and for all those who had helped prepare and run the annual charity car show last month.
"[The dinner] is that moment to give everyone a pat on the back, and say a heartfelt thank you," said Cruise-In president Eric Taylor.
Looking around the room, he said it's these people who make it a "fantastic" show.
"[The Cruise-In board's nine members] do a bit of organizing. They're the ones that make it all work... The volunteers are the ones who make it happen," Taylor added.
"For the size of this show, the ratio of volunteers to participants is incredible," he said, humbled by the way this community repeatedly pulls together to host this giant charity event.
And Taylor noted that almost everyone he's met through the years thinks like he does.
They sign on not for the cars but the charities.
The cars are just a conduit through which to raise much needed money for a series of local organizations, he said.
"I know that's the only reason I'm there. It's the fact that it's a charity event that makes it worthwhile," Taylor said.
The figures are still coming, including how much individual service clubs that ran concessions during Cruise-In managed to earn.
But, director Lori Watts confirmed a month after the show that more than $64,000 was raised directly for this year's Cruise-In's charities of choice: the Langley Community Support Services, Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Valley Therapeutic Riding Association, and their newest recipients at the PuCKS program.
With these numbers in hand, Watts proudly boasted that during Langley Good Times Cruise-In's 15-year history, it has raised more than $1 million for local charities.
One of the volunteers, and an individual seen by many as the face of Cruise-In, shared a few comments during the volunteer thank-you event.
"I enjoy being on the stage of the Cruise-In," said Jim McGregor, the former Langley City fire chief and Cruise-In day emcee.
"I do talk to literally hundreds of people that day. They come up looking for directions... and invariably each one of them shakes my hand and thanks me for putting on such a great show, and I get those accolades for all you great people," McGregor said, taking that opportunity to share the praise with the individuals who really deserve it.
"I feel really proud that I can take all that praise for everything that all you people do, because I look around the room, and these aren't just Cruise-In people. I run into you all year long, it doesn't matter whether it's the Terry Fox Run, or an Elks event, or a Lions event, or a Rotary function. If something is going on in town, you people are there, including the various car shows from May to October. That's what makes this town tick," McGregor said.
"When you look around the community, you can see that the little things you've done, on those days you're at the Cruise-In - or any other event - they all come back. They may not come back into your life today, but they are benefiting somebody's life, and eventually you will be paid back for that because that's karma, and that's always a good thing," he added, noting that many of the volunteers involved in Cruise-In are also volunteers in many other community events throughout the year.
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