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Local business honoured

Karla Barton (second from left) is presented the Paul Harris fellowship by Grace Robertson and Terry Smith of the Rotary Club of Langley Central (right) and Mayor Peter Fassbender.  - Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times
Karla Barton (second from left) is presented the Paul Harris fellowship by Grace Robertson and Terry Smith of the Rotary Club of Langley Central (right) and Mayor Peter Fassbender.
— image credit: Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times

For local business owner Karla Barton, one small fundraising idea has paid off with a very large reward.
Barton, the owner of McBurney Junction Furniture and Interiors, is the recent recipient of the Paul Harris fellowship− the highest award given by the Rotary Club of Langley Central.
Through offering Pandora bracelet cleanings by donation, she has raised more than $1,000 for the club’s Liberian project.
“Our philosophy was ... if you are buying something like Pandora it’s because you have enough,” Barton said.
“So we thought we’d take an opportunity where we usually offered something for free and made it available now by donation. It was something that people could feel really good about.”
The Liberian project began when Langley rotarian Terry Smith visited Liberia to help his son adopt two children. He became determined to give back to the Liberian people who helped his family by starting a project to help their small village.
His goals are to provide prosthetics and aid for victims of ruthless amputations by the Charles Taylor regime, and to turn their village into a self-sufficient community.
But since his last visit, the village of 2,000 people has had an influx of 5,000 refugees from the Ivory Coast. 
“We have a project and a goal in mind, but when you are inundated with all of these immediate needs, what do we do?” Smith said.
‘So that’s where Karla comes in. When I told Karla my problem, that these people are dying, that these people need medicine, Karla said, ‘I can help.’”
Barton is continuing to do bracelet cleanings by donation to raise more money for the cause.
“This was a great opportunity, not only for our business, but for our customers and our friends to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” she said.

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