Sean Thomas’s grandmother was the inspiration behind Kids Can Help (KCH), a program that helps ailing children and their families.
“I founded the program after my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer,” Thomas related, as he prepares to host the fifth annual KCH Silent Auction and Talent Show on Saturday at Langley Fundamental Elementary School.
“I saw how hard it was for her and our family,” Thomas elaborated. “I really wanted to do something to help, and I thought of kids and their families who were going through the same thing.”
Thomas was eight years old when he launched the program in 2009. One hundred per cent of the funds raised from the program goes to BC Children’s Hospital.
Thomas noted that so far, KCH has raised more than $80,000, with the goal this year to top the $100,000 mark.
“We have grown to more than 30 members from Langley, Surrey, White Rock, Cowichan Bay, and even Hawaii,” Thomas said. “Even though together our efforts are to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital, we also hope to inspire other kids to want to make a difference either by joining us or doing something on their own.”
Regarding the Dec. 5 show, Thomas said, “Every year is more successful, and this year we’re hoping it will be our most successful year yet. The PAC at the Langley Fundamental School has always been so generous and has left the gymnasium decorated after their Christmas Tea for our event, and it looks really festive.”
Thomas said for the past five years, Langley has been “so supportive” of the show, adding that some businesses donate to the fundraiser every year.
“We all really appreciate what they do for us, and as our program and show grows, we hope we can give back to them in some way, too,” Thomas said.
This show will celebrate Amy Dewolff, a member of the KCH team, and her recovery.
“She worked so hard to raise money for the hospital with us, but also became a patient and was in cancer treatment,” Thomas said. “Everyone was so supportive at last year’s show but this year we can all celebrate now that she is doing great.”
Thomas said the silent auction grows every year, with more than 100 items up for bids on Saturday.
“This year will be our biggest one so far. There is definitely something for everyone,” Thomas saide.
There will be three “amazing special guests,” Thomas said, including the Langley Ukulele Ensemble.
Another performer is Shon Burnett, a finalist from the YTV show, The Next Star. “He will be opening with five songs and signing autographs after the show,” Thomas said.
And with Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens opening in theatres on Dec. 18, the 501st Legion Outer Rim Garrison fan group is at the show.
“The guests at our event will have an opportunity to have their photos taken with the characters,” Thomas said. “It’s by donation, and 100 per cent of the money goes to the BC Children’s Hospital.”
Tickets are $5 but are limited and can be ordered by contacting Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.