Fiddlers from the Langley Community Music School provided entertainment during the City of Langley’s annual volunteer appreciation banquet at Coast Hotel and Casino on Thursday night. Monique Tamminga Langley Times

Langley City celebrates its volunteers

More than 200 volunteers fêted at annual banquet

Around 200 volunteers from various organizations and committees filled the ballroom at Coast Hotel and Casino on Thursday night as the City of Langley paid tribute to its volunteers.

From those who put together the annual Magic of Christmas Parade to the many dedicated stewards of Langley’s natural environment, those who volunteer with Speed Watch and the Downtown Ambassadors, the list of ways people offer their time to make the City a better place is endless, said Mayor Ted Schaffer.

Council surprised the outgoing mayor with a gift and a thank you for his more than 25 years of service and volunteer work with the City. Schaffer announced last year that he won’t seek re-election in October.

The City paid special tribute to environmental advocate and longtime City resident Rhys Griffiths, who passed away earlier this month.

As a member of the parks committee — among other organizations — Griffiths made it a point to hold council accountable for any of its activities that had the potential to affect the natural environment — particularly when it involved Brydon Lagoon.

This year’s honorary volunteer speaker was Velma McAllister.

Having lived in Langley for just two years, McAllister quickly found her place in the community through volunteering.

Coming from Richmond and Delta, she said she has volunteered for more than 40 years.

In Langley, she carries on that tradition, volunteering with the RCMP and Sources Langley Food bank.

She loves the Christmas Bureau and helped launch the successful Children’s Wish Breakfast at Newlands last November.

“Volunteering means to me self worth,” said McAllister. “It gives me purpose and I make new friends.”

The fiddlers from the Langley Community Musical School provided the evening’s entertainment.

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