Langley gala puts culturally sensitive transition home on the horizon

UN Women’s gala at Krause Berry Farms is expected to raise $1 million, awareness about child brides.

The hope is to raise $1 million this weekend, during a gala at Krause Berry Farms.

The goal, explained event organizer Kerry Gibson, is to build a new culturally sensitive transition house in the Langley-Surrey area – and soon.

“We understand that there are an awful lot of resources that don’t get dispersed to the suburbs in the same way as resources are centralized in Metro Vancouver. The indigenous community is especially affected, and we hope to be able to collaborate with local leaders in order to rectify that. You eventually would like to build a brick and mortar center of excellence supporting indigenous women– but that’s in the long run,” Gibson shared.

“When I say indigenous, I don’t mean just First Nations. We are a wonderfully multicultural community with women who are refugees and immigrants from around the world who need our support, as well. We need to understand that they need a different kind of support and we will expand that capacity to the best of our abilities,” she elaborated.

“This is an absolute necessity,” Gibson said.

But moreover, she added, UN Women envisions this event will also be a huge step in bringing awareness to the ongoing existence of child brides.

Hence, the gala, called Not Yet For The Dress. It is aimed at spotlighting what she calls a “horror” and increase recognition to the issue.

“This glamorous global event will give you the chance to help this plight by proclaiming that you are determined to help put an end to the atrocity,” she said.

Gibson pointed to a figure indicating that every year 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That’s one every two seconds.

“We need your support. Help stop this violation of human rights,” Gibson said.

Gibson hopes this is the first of what will become an annual gala, this year’s event being held Sunday, May 28, at 5 p.m. at Krause Berry Farm & Estate Winery, 6179 248th St.

“The evening will be filled with entertainment, live music, poignant moments when we focus on the matter at hand through the words of victims, United Nations diplomats, and Canadian leaders,” she said, noting mid-week that the event was about half way sold.

“You will have the chance to mingle with high-profile guests, and swoon over a special surprise from famed Italian goldsmith and businessman, Gerardo Sacco,trusted jewellery designer to Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Lady Di,” she added.

“We hope to secure your support for this incredible event where we will be showcasing Canada to a global community, while both educating and fundraising for large scale change.”

Tickets are $200 each, and available online: www.eventbrite.ca.