Going up against big events such as Langley Good Times Cruise-In and the Fort Langley Food Truck Festival didn’t seem to hurt attendance at Krause Berry Farms this weekend.
The Township of Langley Firefighters Charitable Society held its third annual Family Fun Day at the Farm Saturday, and saw attendance triple, said society director and one of the event organizers, Jhim Burwell.
“The turn out from the community this year has to be three times what it was last year,” said Burwell, who sat down for a minute to listen to the Langley-based band, Seabillys, perform on the outdoor stage.
He believes the high turnout is attributed to the fact that this was an event geared more at young families, giving parents a safe and fun place to bring the kids that – at the same time – help a good cause.
The enthusiasm, and the excitement among event goers, young and old, was more intense than ever, he said, noting how hype was building on social media in the days leading up to the event.
Young ones, in particular, seemed fascinated by the strong firefighter presence. There were at least 35 uniformed members on hand throughout the day. They operated everything from a photo booth allowing kids to suit up in turnout gear and climb aboard a fire truck for pictures, to a rescue trailer where – again – children geared up and went inside a smoke-filled trailer to rescue a mannequin.
A huge bouncy castle shaped like a fire truck, a firefighter pie-eating contest, a chance to work with firefighters to spray water from a fire hose, and even the pre-sale of firefighter and pets calendars (a joint fundraiser for the Langley Animal Protection Society), were also firefighter-centred activities that proved popular with the kids and adults alike, Burwell said.
The Township of Langley Firefighters’ Charitable Society is a registered not-for-profit society focused on fundraising and benevolent activities.
“We doing something more than just being firefighters. We’re giving back to the community,” Burwell said.
Currently the firefighter society has several projects being developed to the benefit of local, provincial, and national charities and partners; including supporting a nutritious snacks program for local students, installing clothing donation bins at Township of Langley firehalls, as well as organizing fundraising activities for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, the B.C. Professional Firefighters Association Burn Fund, the Canadian Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
Funds raised at this weekend’s event at Krause’s is earmarked specifically for a paediatric playroom at Langley Memorial Hospital, Burwell said, hoping to exceed last year’s fundraising total of $6,600.
“Every year, we’re looking for more stuff to bring to the community,” and the kids room is a perfect project to get involved with, hoping it will be in place by the end of the year.
CAPTION: Alexandria Brown, a seven-year-old from Fort Langley, geared up and entered the firefighter smoke trailer to rescue a training dummy during the Family Fun Day at Krause Berry Farm Saturday.
CAPTION: Friends Tye Reisig and Cole Manion (brunette), both from Maple Ridge, visited the Langley Memorial Hospital’s teddy bear clinic at the Family Fun Day hosted by firefighters Saturday.
CAPTION: Richard Trist, three of Abbotsford, and four-year-old Clayton Heights resident Easton Ferraro-Offer suited up as firefighters and climbed aboard the truck on display for photos at the Family Fun Day at the Farm hosted by Township of Langley firefighters.
CAPTION: Township firefighter Matt Perkes showed a little firefighter what it is like to handle a fire nozzle at the Family Fun Day at the Farm. Ryan Schmirler photo