Column: Happy endings set positive note for year’s end

As the year draws to a close and a new one begins, we’ve received a bounty of happy news to pass onto Reporter readers.

As the year draws to a close and a new one begins, we’ve received a bounty of happy news to pass onto Reporter readers.

There’s been a massive response to SOS Children’s Village B.C.’s appeal on behalf of former Surrey foster kids for “some love and magic” this Christmas.

The society shared stories of four of the youths in its Transition to Adult program whose wish lists included the basics: food, clothing, shoes, gifts for their own young children.

The story, “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” appeared in the Dec. 18 edition of the Cloverdale Reporter.

The society’s Cloverdale headquarters were flooded with grocery and mall gift cards – thousands of dollars worth – in the days leading up to Christmas.

The outpouring of generosity – which included offers of brand-new winter jackets, a torrent of gift cards, plus sizable individual donations – was as swift as it was heartwarming.

In a year that’s seen too many tragic and terrible outcomes for our Surrey youth, we should acknowledge – and cherish – the underlying decency and love that unites our community.

There’s also a bit of magic going on at Fraser Downs, where a promising little horse named Buddy’s Hope (See this week’s ‘Along the Backstretch’ recap on our sports tab at Cloverdalereporter.com) is racing to big winnings for the Surrey Food Bank. During the month of December, owner/trainer Daniel Gaboury pledged to donate Buddy’s winnings to the charity, which assists 80 to 100 Cloverdale families every two weeks through its depot at Zion Lutheran Church.

On Boxing Day, in his third and final December race at Cloverdale’s landmark Standardbred racing track, Buddy finished fourth.

That’s put his winnings for the month at $2,126 – money that will be matched by Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, and Harness Racing B.C.

Visiting driver Phil Hudon, a Cloverdale lad, also donated his fees to the Surrey Food Bank cause. His $350 from driving in 10 races brings the track’s contribution to the food bank to more than $8,300.

Nearly 630 of our neighbours were helped, thanks to the generosity of Cloverdale residents, schools, churches, and businesses, who’ve once again enabled the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program meet demand.

We’ll have more on this year’s food and donation drive in next week’s edition of the Reporter.

Meantime, program leads Trish and Kevin Lunder, who have helmed the seasonal relief program for four years, have sent in the following thank you, written by Kevin:

“So many people help make this Cloverdale program successful… Trish and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who got involved this year. Special thanks to our CCHP team: Taya Vantol, PCC Administrative Coordinator; Tracey Cudmore, PCC bookkeeper; Jon Pettigrew, PCC Youth Pastor; Jim Heuving, PCC Executive Pastor; and Sean Rouge and his team from Surrey Association for Community Living.”

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