Some of the items that will be part of the 19th annual Community Christmas Silent Auction in support of Community Services programs. (Special to The News)

Some of the items that will be part of the 19th annual Community Christmas Silent Auction in support of Community Services programs. (Special to The News)

Christmas silent auction to support community programs for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents

Free, open to the public, just show up

There is something for everyone on the holiday shopping list at the 19th annual Community Christmas Silent Auction.

The free silent auction put on by Community Services will have more than 120 items to bid on – valued at more than $20,000.

“It is the only fundraiser that Community Services does. All of the proceeds go back to ensure that we can continue to offer our programs and services at almost no charge,” explained Heather Walker, organizer of the event – programs like Alyssa’s Wish for victims of abuse and Foundry Ridge Meadows in support of youth mental health.

There will be gift cards, autographed sports memorabilia, hand-crocheted items, hand-quilted blankets, power tools, art, gift baskets, toy sets, and everything in between, said Walker.

“We’ve got something for everyone and all ages,” noted Walker.

“We say it’s shop with a purpose. So you are doing the shopping and you are crossing names off your list. But you are also supporting the community.”

In addition to great shopping, there will be live entertainment, including a children’s choir from c’usqunela Elementary School who will be performing three songs starting at 11:30 a.m., and the Maple Ridge Choral Society who will be performing four songs just after noon.

There will be children’s activities while parents are shopping.

And, Santa Claus will also be making an appearance.

Last year more than 22,000 people in the community were supported by the programs at Community Services in some way, said Walker.

The fundraiser started almost two decades ago with country music artist Rob Hess who hosted a Country Christmas Concert at the ACT. The year after the first concert, Community Services decided to hold the silent auction. In 2019 there was just the silent auction, but about 100 guests attended the event and raised more than $12,000 for Community Services.

Even though they were still able to hold the silent auction virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, they only raised a fraction of the money needed by the organization to keep most of their programs running at no cost.

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In 2020 and 2021, Walker explained it was harder to find donations and only about $7,000 was raised each year.

Now that they are back to an in-person event, Walker has her fingers crossed that people will show up and they will once again surpass the $10,000 mark.

“This is going to go support youth mental health, victims of abuse, isolated seniors who can’t afford their meals, that’s what this money is going to go to,” emphasized Walker.

The Community Services 19th annual Community Christmas Silent Auction will be taking place from 11:30-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the lobby of the Community Services building at 22768 119 Avenue, Maple Ridge.

No registration is required.

All you have to do is show up, said Walker.

Walker is still looking for entertainers for the event. Those interested can contact her at 604-467-6911, ext. 1413 or email hwalker@comservice.bc.ca.


Have a story tip? Email: cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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