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Women's Centre fundraiser returns

Third annual Mother's Day event celebrates achievements

The annual Howe Sound Women's Centre Mother's Day Fundraiser and Silent Auction returns to the Cliffside Pub for its third year Saturday, May 9, and organizers say they're thrilled with the support they have again received this year from local businesses.

"I can honestly say that I'm very proud to live in a town like Squamish," says Deidre Plaatjes, who co-founded the event. "Businesses have been so generous to our organization even with all that's been happening to our economy today."

The heart warming support may be due to the fact that the event was born out of love.

When 84-year old Margerite Richard passed away, she left behind a rich history of involvement in her New Brunswick community and in the lives of her 14 children. Her daughter, Squamish resident Marie Blott, was left with a void to fill and she wanted a way to keep her mother's memory alive.

When she came up with the idea of holding a Mother's Day fundraiser to support the local women's centre, she knew that her mother would have been proud. But she never imagined the kind of support she would receive from her community.

"Marie approached me because she knew I was on the board of directors of the Howe Sound Women's Centre and wanted to know if I'd help organize this event with her," said Plaatjes. "I thought the idea was awesome, as the reason I'm on the board is because the Women's Centre helped me over 25 years when I was a single mom with two children trying to start a new chapter in my life."

When the two women approached Thelma Yamaguchi, owner of the Cliffside Pub, asking if she would hold a fundraising event, they were greeted with a resounding "Yes."

Three years later the Cliffside is still the host venue and will again be donating 90 per cent of the proceeds from their burger and beer sales to the Women's Centre. Other local businesses have also enthusiastically backed the event.

"We have all kinds of silent auction items donated from retails stores, restaurants, golf courses, even a two-night stay at a hotel in Whistler," said Plaatjes. "Plus personal donations from family, friends and anyone who believes in this cause."

Entertainment for the evening is being supplied free of charge again this year by local musicians Jeffrey James and Fuzzy Dice, as well as karaoke with Hellyeah!

The event is welcomed by Tara Franz, executive director of the Howe Sound Women's Centre.

"The Mother's Day fundraiser that Marie and Deidre organize is one of the most poignant as it raises funds to support women in the Sea to Sky Corridor while honouring and celebrating mothers. It's a crucial fundraiser for our services, especially this year when we have experienced a shortfall in funding, and look to amazing events like these to ensure our centre is open to the public for services and support."

The Mother's Day fundraiser takes place Saturday, May 9 starting at 5 p.m. at the Cliffside Pub in Valleycliffe. Burger and Beer Tickets are $10 and can be bought at The Bookshelf (formerly Mostly Books), Billie's Bouquet and the Cliffside Pub.

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