Sandy and Gene Dunkley enjoyed music by The Day Trippers at the British Invasion fundraiser on Sept. 15. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times.

British Invasion fundraiser suffers major financial loss

Organizer Sandy Dunkley has to pay out of pocket for Cloverdale event

After experiencing a lower than expected turnout at her British Invasion fundraiser on Friday, Sandy Dunkley now finds herself paying out of pocket to cover the expenses.

The British-themed drive-in event, which was held at the Cloverdale rodeo grounds on Sept. 15, suffered a loss of more than $5,200, leaving nothing to donate to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, the organization that was supposed to be the beneficiary of the event.

Between ticket sales, a 50/50 draw and personal donations, only $1,893.28 was raised. And while some of the loss can be covered by funds left over in the account from Dunkley’s non-profit group, The Ron Dunkley Memorial Society, nearly $1,300 will be paid by Dunkley herself.

“I just feel terrible about the whole thing,” Dunkley said. “I have no idea why this event didn’t happen.”

RELATED: British Invasion fundraiser’s low turnout ‘a terrible slap in the face’

RELATED: British Invasion comes to Cloverdale Sept. 15

Comments on social media indicate that many people did not know the event was happening, but Dunkley said she did as much advertising as she could. There were articles in local newspapers, including the Langley Times, as well as ads on local radio stations, TV stations and Facebook. She put up 500 posters in grocery stores, coffee shops and car part shops from Chilliwack to Surrey, and handed them out to hotrod owners many times at the Tim Horton’s meet-up on 192 Street and 27 Avenue. She and her husband, Gene, even took muffins and posters out to different fire halls inviting firefighters and their families to attend.

“I have no idea what else I could have done,” she said.

On a positive note, Dunkley said it was a joy to see those who did attend having a great time.

“What made it good for me was how much fun people had — the limbo contest and the look-alike contest were great,” she said.

“These little details made it a special event.”

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