The concession trailer that helped Langley Lions raise thousands of dollars for charity every year has been damaged and looted by thieves.
The trailer was stolen Feb. 7 from a secured parking lot at the business of local Lions past president Paul Keeris.
On Sunday morning of that week, a neighbour in the business park on the Surrey-Langley border realized the trailer was missing.
It was found by the Surrey RCMP at 176th Street and 66th Avenue.
The thieves had used a grinder or saw of some kind of hack open the side door, and had then hauled out everything of value they could fit through the opening.
Among the items taken were a large barbecue, power generator, griddles, tents, and a long list of utensils and supplies.
The trailer also suffered serious damage, as the thief or thieves tried without success to open the bolted back doors. They managed to destroy the side door, and smashed internal supports in the trailer in order to haul out some of the larger equipment. They tore apart the small side door to get it open.
Keeris said he was shocked to hear about the theft.
“You’re desperate, you don’t know what’s going on,” said the seven-year Lions member.
All that was left in the trailer were some folding tables and parts of a large tent that the thieves couldn’t fit out.
Fellow Lion Ray Tremblay checked out the damage Monday morning with Keeris.
“I put in so many hours in this thing, I’m just shocked,” Tremblay said.
The damaged and looted trailer will put a serious dent in the Langley Lions efforts to raise funds and feed the hungry.
They provide hot breakfasts at Douglas Park Community Elementary in Lagnley, and starting in May, they were to take the trailer out to a host of public events. The Lions are a fixture at numerous public celebrations, including the Langley Good Times Cruise-In and fundraisers for the B.C. Children’s Hospital.
It will cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to repair and replace everything that was stolen or destroyed, Keeris estimates.
He’s hoping that someone from the community will be able to help the Lions get the trailer equipped and fixed up in time for their next big event in May.
Tremblay said it’s impossible for the Lions to justify using money budgeted for charity to fix the trailer.
“There’s nothing that goes to overhead,” Keeris notes. Every dollar raised by the Lions goes towards their charities.
Anyone interested in helping replace some of the damaged or missing equipment can contact Keeris at 604-888-7513.