Mechanic and B&F Automotive owner Sherwin Belgrave is spearheading another virtual music bingo fundraiser to help large farm animals impacted by the recent wildfire in Lytton. The online event runs this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (Special to The News)

Mechanic and B&F Automotive owner Sherwin Belgrave is spearheading another virtual music bingo fundraiser to help large farm animals impacted by the recent wildfire in Lytton. The online event runs this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (Special to The News)

Mechanic hosts different style of fundraiser for Lytton fire victims

A Maple Ridge shop owner hosts music bingo event Saturday to help care for the impacted farm animals

A Maple Ridge company has set up a somewhat unique fundraiser in support of large farm animals affected by the Lytton wildfires.

B&F Automotive is presenting a music bingo fundraiser this coming Saturday.

Based on the success of a similar virtual fundraiser they held on New Year’s Eve, which raised $4,535 for the SPCA in Maple Ridge, and another held in March that raised a further $1,760 for the local shelter, the co-owners of B&F – Sherwin Belgrave and his wife Valorie Crooks – felt it was a must to doing it again – this time in aid of the wildfire victims.

RELATED: Maple Ridge auto shop organizes virtual bingo to raise funds for SPCA

“With Maple Ridge being known for its love of horses and being home to many farms and our business being based here, we felt compelled to help,” Crooks said.

This fundraiser is entirely virtual and people can get all the details through the Facebook link or by going directly to the music bingo site to purchase their bingo cards.

“People can play music bingo from the comfort of their own home with their favourite snacks and drinks on hand,” Crooks explained.

“And with the easing of some of the COVID-19 restrictions, this means they can even invite some friends or family over to play with them. It’s also an opportunity to party virtually with friends and family who aren’t local. Virtual music bingo is a great way to have some fun and on July 17, we hope our special tropical music (selected by Sherwin, who is from Barbados) gets them dancing!”

It costs $10 to purchase a music bingo card, and all card proceeds will go towards the fundraiser, Belgrave elaborated.

“We’ve also had some people make cash donations already and are still able to receive cash donations or donations of prizes for the event. Most players purchase one or two bingo cards each. A single card is good for all three rounds of bingo,” interjected Crooks, noting the goal is to raise about $4,500 for the cause.

“We’ve got great prizes to be given away that have been donated by businesses throughout the Fraser Valley, including our own B&F Automotive. In addition to winning a bingo line, people can also win prizes by collecting participation points and the best participators of the evening will snag some great prizes. We will also be hosting a silent auction throughout the event with some great items going to the highest bidder,” she said.

The couple has already raised $2,500 from direct donations and a special private music bingo event they held. Now, with the upcoming fundraiser, they’re hoping to add another $2,000 to the pot, Belgrave said.

RELATED NEWS: RCMP to provide update soon on investigation into wildfire in Lytton, B.C.

READ MORE: Katzie First Nation collecting for Lytton wildfire victims

When asked why he chose to do this, Belgrave pondered for a moment.

“Coming from a small Caribbean island, I know how important it is for community members to come together to support one another in times of need. I also believe in businesses having a social commitment, and I do what I can to follow through on that belief at B&F Automotive.”

Following the template set out by the two previous virtual music bingo fundraisers for the Maple Ridge SPCA in recent months, he reached out to his friend Cory Cassel of Cory Cassel Productions and started pulling together plans for this weekend’s fundraiser as soon as he heard about the destruction caused by the wildfire.

”I saw the devastation happening in Lytton as a result of the wildfire and I felt compelled to help. I wanted to connect my fundraising for Lytton to B&F Automotive’s existing focus on fundraising to support animals in need,” Belgrave said, explaining that the music bingo event will be raising funds specifically to support the large farm animals affected by the wildfire and those who care for them.

“Living in and owning a business in Maple Ridge, where farms are plenty and horses can be seen out and about, it feels like a natural fit for a Maple Ridge business to support Lytton’s large animals affected by the wildfire,” he said.

The bingo gets underway Saturday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. online.

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Mechanic and B&F Automotive owner Sherwin Belgrave is spearheading another virtual music bingo fundraiser to help large farm animals impacted by the recent wildfire in Lytton. The online event runs this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (Special to The News)