Crews began affixing plaques bearing donors’ names to the pier’s new planks in October. The pier was damaged after a windstorm last December. (File photos)

Crews began affixing plaques bearing donors’ names to the pier’s new planks in October. The pier was damaged after a windstorm last December. (File photos)

White Rock to celebrate pier-plank purchasers

Dec. 8 event planned to thank supporters

City of White Rock and Friends of the Pier officials are planning a public event this weekend to thank all those who’ve pitched in so far to a fundraising effort that offered donors the chance to buy a commemorative plank on the rebuilt structure.

According to a news release, Mayor Darryl Walker and members of the Friends committee are to present the individuals, families and organizations with commemorative certificates between 1-2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 8).

The Friends of the Pier have been selling planks online for $1,000 since early May, with proceeds going towards rebuilding the entire pier, which was damaged in a violent windstorm last December.

READ MORE: VIDEO: White Rock pier destroyed by storm, stranded man rescued

The initiative is part of the volunteer committee’s goal to raise $2 million towards the repairs.

As of this week, 272 of 1,300 available planks have been purchased or pledged, and more than $400,000 of the $2 million has been raised.

The pier reopened to the public in late August.

“Now that the centre of the pier has been rebuilt and brought up to modern standards, we can show people what their plank and plaque look like,” Friends of the Pier chair Bob Bezubiak said in the release.

“We have more planks to sell, and it will be an ongoing fundraiser until every plank is sold and carries a donor’s commemorative plaque. This has been an incredible community effort and we’re not finished yet because the rest of the pier still needs to be rebuilt and brought up to today’s standards.”

The cost of that work has been estimated at $16.2 million.

READ MORE: $3 million contract awarded for White Rock Pier repair

“The support we’ve received across the community and region has been terrific and the leadership of Mayor Walker and council has been incredibly encouraging,” Bezubiak added. “When the pier is completely rebuilt we can all tell our grandkids we had a hand in its completion.”

Walker said in the release that he is looking forward to meeting and thanking those who have purchased a plank so far.

“When our beloved pier was torn in half, it broke the hearts of people in White Rock,” he said.

“We’ve mended the pier, with the help of the provincial government and the dedicated efforts of City staff, but there is more work to be done. I want to thank the Friends of the Pier for their continuing fundraising on behalf of our pier. Buying a plank in the name of your family, or to commemorate a loved one who enjoyed the pier, is a pretty special way to preserve precious memories while ensuring the pier is available for future generations to enjoy.”

Donations to the Friends of the Pier are being accepted by the Rotary Club of Semiahmoo White Rock through the Friends of the Pier website, www.friendsofthepier.com