The annual Pirate Pak day at White Spot helps send kids to Zajac Ranch.

What’s in Store: Dine like a pirate in Langley and help kids

Langley Advance editor Roxanne Hooper offers a weekly roundup of business news from around Langley.

Staff at a Walnut Grove restaurant are putting the finishing touches on a pirate-like party next week that will help send dozens of sick kids to camp.

The team at the Walnut Grove White Spot, as well as the other two Langley restaurants – in Willowbrook and Aldergrove – are expected to adorn their best swashbuckling outfits and host Pirate Pak Day on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

In fact, the team in Willowbrook is gearing up to serve breakie, lunch, and dinner to raise money for the charity – hoping this year to sell 2,200 boats.

On that day, buccaneers both young and young-at-heart can relive childhood memories by ordering a Pirate Pak.

A toonie from the sale of every adult Pirate Pak (ordered either as dine-in or take-out) will be donated to Zajac Ranch for Children.

“Pirate Pak Day is a big event for us, one that both our staff and guests look forward to every year,” said White Spot president Warren Erhart. “Money raised on this special day helps young mateys facing difficult challenges, and wouldn’t be possible without the participation of our valued guests.”

Zajac is a local charity, located just across the river, northeast of Maple Ridge, providing kids and young adults with life-threatening illnesses and chronic disabilities a special summer camp experience. Activities range from kayaking and climbing, to swimming and horseback riding.

Camp founder Mel Zajac thanked the local restaurants for participating, but also the customers who come out each year to help.

In the past six years, Pirate Pak Day has raised almost $350,000 and consequently sent 200 kids to camp.

“White Spot has become integral in our ability to enrich the lives of kids who need support,” Zajac said. “Community initiatives like Pirate Pak Day help us offer illness-specific camps that put smiles on the faces of these kids. For instance, many of our campers get to ride horses for the first time in their life.”

Share with me your favourite White Spot memory (250 words or less), at contest@langleyadvance.com, before 5 p.m. on Aug. 21, and you will be entered in to win a $50 gift card to White Spot. Preference is given to Langley residents.

 

Ella Little (centre) has donated proceeds from her store for years and held an auction when it closed, raising another $7,500 for the hospital foundation.

 

 

 

That’s a wrap

After nearly 40 years in business, Ella Little has closed the doors of her Brookswood store, and in doing so donated a “whopping” $7,500 to the hospital.

With the closure of Ella’s Clothes Closet, Little held a farewell party and live auction to dispose of the furnishings and fixtures that had filled her 200th Street store for all those years.

If you’ve ever been inside the store, you know these are not just typical retail displays. Her store always felt more like a home, and her customers more like guests. This woman had such an incredible talent for making people feel welcome and special, and the fixtures, decorations, and personal touches she incorporated inside those four walls were so integral to her inviting atmosphere.

Needless to say “there was an exceptional turnout that evening and some competitive bidding resulted in more funds raised than anticipated,” Little said.

True to the tradition of community support she’s demonstrated since 1976, 15 per cent of the proceeds were offered to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

But again in keeping with Little’s giving spirit and decades of incredible support, and “Much to our surprise and delight,” the promised 15 per cent of monies raised was increased to 50 per cent when it actually came to Little presenting the money to the foundation.

She’s a woman of great elegance and entrepreneurial savvy, who has said goodbye to the retail world… but here’s the good news.

Little is not disappearing from the clothing world.

When one door closes, another opens.

She and her daughter, Carla, are looking forward to continuing their adventure by hosting what she calls “trunk shows” starting this month. If you want to reach them, they can be reached at ellas@telus.net.

Remise in mentioning

In addition to the efforts of White Spot staff, I’d be remise if I didn’t mention the fundraising efforts of the Dairy Queen teams in Langley.

On Aug. 13, DQ is holding its annual Miracle Treat Day, with $1 for every Blizzard sold going to help Children’s Miracle Network.

• Stay tuned to next week’s column for a little more on this.

 

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