The Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society and Surrey Honda have partnered together for a second year in a row for a car raffle to support local mental health initiatives. (Submitted photo)

The Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society and Surrey Honda have partnered together for a second year in a row for a car raffle to support local mental health initiatives. (Submitted photo)

Surrey firefighters’ 2nd car raffle supports mental health initiatives

Funds raised go to support three programs

With the success of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society’s car raffle in 2020, the organization has decided to give it another go.

Dylan van Rooyen, the vice-president of the SFFCS, said last year’s raffle “just took off and picked up, so of course we wanted to do it again.”

READ ALSO: Surrey firefighters society donates to youth mental health program, with help of vehicle raffle, May 8, 2020

The charitable society has once again partnered with Surrey Honda for a 2021 Honda CRV Sport or cash equivalent.

Tickets are $20 each, with 7,500 tickets available. They can be purchased online at surreyfirefighters.com/raffle-honda or in-person at Surrey Honda at 15291 Fraser Hwy.

Van Rooyen estimates about 2,200 tickets have been sold so far.

But, like last year, the goal is to sell out again and hopefully surpass $100,000.

“This year, ticket sales aren’t awful but they’re definitely not in line with where we were last year.”

The raffle draw will take place July 1, with ticket sales ending shortly before that.

This year, the society’s raffle is benefiting three mental health programs.

Like last year, Van Rooyen said, the YMCA’s Youth Mindfulness program will be receiving some of the funds raised. He said it costs about $12,000 to run the program each year.

Van Rooyen previously told the Now-Leader the YMCA introduced the society to the program when it was first started.

According to the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the program is for people aged 18 to 30, “who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety to learn and practice evidence-based strategies to increase coping.”

New this year – and to the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society – is a partnership with Phoenix Society, said Van Rooyen.

He said the society was looking to add a new group into the mix, when they were approached by Phoenix to contribute to a new youth program, Positive Minds, a mental health and substance use education program.

“It is to target youth who are at risk of drug or alcohol misuse or they have drug or alcohol misuse in the home, so helping them deal with the challenges surrounding that,” Van Rooyen explained.

The raffle, he said, will also benefit the Centre for Child Development and Sophie’s Place, which the charitable society has been supporting for many years.

“Everyone’s aware of the importance (of mental health education), now it really is establishing these programs to support it. It’s great that we’re aware there’s a need to take care of the mental health aspect of what’s going on with ourselves, our community, but we need to make sure that there are programs in place,” Van Rooyen noted.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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