Peter van der Lee, a volunteer at the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, holds some of the items that have been donated for teens this year. However, they are still in need of items for teenage boys such as remote controlled cars, toiletries or clothing including hats. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge Strip-a-thon feeds hundreds for Christmas

The 23rd annual Caddyshack Strip-a-thon raised almost $30,000 for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society

More families in need will be having a full Christmas dinner this year thanks to another record breaking evening at the 23rd annual Caddyshack Strip-a-thon.

This year the Strip-a-thon raised $28,357 for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Lorraine Bates, chief organizer of the Christmas Hamper Society, marvels at the record breaking amount of money they receive every year.

“Last year was the biggest amount ever and Yvan claimed that to Tom,” said Bates about Yvan Charette, owner of the Caddyshack and Tom Cameron, a long-time volunteer with the society who passed away this time last year from leukemia.

Last year the Strip-a-thon raised $37,700, the year before that $26,670.

“This is the next record breaking,” she continued about this years event.

She praises management and staffers that get the event going and do a terrific job selling tickets.

“Everybody enjoyed it,” said Bates.

“The ambiance in the Caddyshack is amazing. It’s noisy, it’s exciting, it’s Christmas-sy, everybody dresses up Christmas-sy,” she continued.

Peter van der Lee, local realtor and volunteer at the Christmas Hamper Society, volunteered at this years Strip-a-thon.

“What’s cool about it is there are companies that go down there and do their Christmas parties,” said van der Lee.

He saw a Jägermeister cooler sell for hundreds of dollars. He also saw a Molson Canadian fridge auctioned off live on stage for almost $2,700. There was a life sized stuffed Spider-Man that was also auctioned off and a Darth Vader figurine, one half the scale, that went for around $700.

“There was a bra that sold for $2,000,” said van der Lee.

“It was $1,500,” he said.

“It was $2,000 if she opened it up, which she did,” laughed van der Lee.

“Everybody was just having a great time,” he continued.

Money from the event will go to purchasing Christmas dinners for the hundreds of families the society takes care of every year.

“We typically look after between 420 to 500 families. We’re not finished yet we have another registration,” said Bates about the final registration date.

The families will get gift certificates to go to Safeway or Thrifty’s to do their own grocery shopping for the holidays.

Bates is expecting to register an additional 100 families on the final registration date.

Registration takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services, 11907 228 St. in Maple Ridge.

Qualifying families must bring care cards for all family members, proof of age for all children over 16-years, proof of residency in either Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, photo ID and proof of income with a Financial Assistance stub, Disability Benefit stub or low income pay stub with any bills or obligations.

For more information call 604-463-6922 or email lorraine@mrpmchristmashamper.org.

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