Country FUNdraiser at Langley Events Centre boosts Basics for Babies

Sunday’s Basics for Babies charity event at the Langley Events Centre aims to put the “fun” in fundraiser.

It’s called the Basics for Babies FUNdraising Day, presented by Maple Ridge Chrysler and JRfm, and admission is by donation of cash and/or baby food and supplies such as diapers, formula, and wipes. Only new items will be accepted.

Looking forward to this Sunday is 2014 BC Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year Karen Lee Batten, whose latest album, Cause a Scene, hit No. 1 in Canadian album sales and currently boasts three radio singles.

The Langley resident be one of a host of performers who’ll hit the stage for the cause.  

Batten is scheduled to perform at 11 a.m.

“This is always a favorite for everyone, and truly an awesome time to give back to the ones who can’t afford [to buy baby food and items] at this time of year,” said Batten, who added that “there is going to be some amazing artists there… some you know about, some you may not. I can’t wait to see everyone there, and don’t forget to bring something for the cause.”

The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m.

Served by members of the Township of Langley Firefighters Charitable Society, the cakes will be dished out until the cooks run out of batter. For the pancake breakfast, there are a maximum of 400 plates served.

Accompanying the pancakes are sausages courtesy of Hopcott Meats.

The celebration, featuring live performances by Batten, Madeline Merlo, Rod Black, The Matinee, Me & Mae, Cash Crawford, and the Boom Chucka Boys, continues into the afternoon, wrapping up at about 4 p.m.

Barbara Beam, Docc Andrews and JaXon Hawks, as well as The JRfm Waking Crew will be broadcasting live on location.

The Bands on the Run (Blackjack Billy, Doc Walker and The Road Hammers) will swing by to meet fans and sign autographs from 1 to 2 p.m., and Santa will be available for pictures.

Also included is a silent auction, bouncy castles, a kids craft area with the Great Canadian Dollar Store, balloon art by Twist Parties, face painting by Catz Faces and other family activities throughout the day.

For those who can’t make it to Sunday’s event, there are a few others ways to help the 2014 Basics for Babies Winter Campaign.       

• Donate Online – You can make a one-time donation or contribute all year long by setting up automatic monthly donations at www.jrfm.com.  The charitable tax receipt deadline for 2014 is Dec. 19.

 â€¢ Join the 2014 Workplace Campaign – Collect items and cash donations at workplace holiday events.  This year’s campaign runs until Dec. 19. Visit www.jrfm.com and fill out a registration form.

Batten busy

The Basics for Babies FUNdraising Day is part of a hectic schedule for Batten, who’ll be balancing business with pleasure in the final days of 2014.

She just announced the official radio release of her third single Stronger, off Cause a Scene.

“This song is empowering to me. It truly is one of those songs that makes me say, ‘Get up, put one foot in front of the other, grab a drink and keep going. You are stronger than that,’” Batton said, about Stronger.

On Dec. 23 she’ll be performing Stronger and many of her other hits at the Railway Club in Vancouver, with Danielle Marie opening the show.

Next up is a New Year’s Eve bash at the Dakota Dunes Casino Saskatoon, where Batten will be sharing the stage with Mark Chestnutt to help ring in 2015.

“He’s such a great artist,” Batten said, of Chestnutt. “His fans love him and I’m sure this will be one of those gigs I’ll never forget.”

And while Batten has many busy days ahead of her, she’s also focusing on having a relaxing Christmas at home with her family.

Every year that she’s home  – and Batten believes she’s only been away two or three times over past Christmases – she says she always goes to her “Mommy’s” house on Christmas morning.

“Yes, she is still my Mommy,” Batten said with a smile. “My mom is the best. She always makes everyone the most amazing breakfast and usually the house is filled with about 15 to 20 people hanging around.”

Batten said her mom manages to tell Santa every year about all those who are going to visiting her that year, and in turn the jolly old elf leaves every single person a stocking.

 â€œI usually add a little Baileys in my coffee when mom’s not looking and I’m thinking this year I may add a little in hers too, start a new tradition,” Batten joked. “Christmas for me is about family, the people I always want to see more of and it feels I never see enough. From the beginning of the day to the end, Christmas is my favourite day of the year.”

In the first few months of 2015, Batten’s focus will be on songwriting.

“December always seems to be a blink, and come January I love sitting down, finally, at home with a pencil and paper and seeing what the past brings to the present,” she said. “It’s a good time to do that.”

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