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VIDEO: Picture taking generates sack full of toys for sick kids

Lower than expected numbers come out to RAD Santa fundraiser at Potter’s

Once again a pair of twins from Langley, with a well-known philanthropic nature, managed to raise close to $4,000 last week for gifts they’ll deliver to the kids at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice ahead of Christmas.

Langley Chris and Jamie Ruscheinski, masterminds behind the Gone Country summer concert and a series of other small entertainment-oriented fundraisers, were able to bring back their annual RAD Santa – offering family and pet pictures with St. Nick – for the first time since COVID.

“Unfortunately, attendance was way less than usual, and we didn’t come close to hitting our goal,” admitted Chris.

“The bonus,” he added, always looking for the bright side, “short lineups, extra hotdogs, and snacks for the kiddos who attended.”

He also noted it’s “always great” getting to hang out with the Twins Cancer Fundraising (TCF) volunteer, thanking them for their efforts on a cold night.

But for Chris, the real good news was that they still managed to raise $3,714.85 for Canuck Place Children Hospice Abbotsford, that purchased a “sackload of toys for the kids.”

Heading into the fundraiser, the TCF went out and purchased from the list that was given to the team from Canuck Place. Then families and individuals visiting RAD Santa last Thursday were able to purchase those gifts for the children at Canuck Place while they waited in line for pictures with Santa.

The event was free, picture taking by donation to the cause.

“We have done this in the past ,and always find it’s a great way for parents to have a discussion about what it means to give, or donate. It’s amazing how quickly kids grasp the concept,” he explained.

“My daughter turned four last month, and was so excited to pick out a toy for a child staying at Canuck Place,” he said.

Their biggest fundraiser continues to be Gone Country, a day-long, 19+ concert event held at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. It is in the final year in 2024, as the TCF team prepare to tackle a number of other, smaller events.

The voted to bring back this Christmas fundraiser, Chris said, “because we so love seeing guests bring their families out to RAD Santa.”

RELATED: Gone Country benefit show gone after 2024

Plans are being considered for a return of RAD Santa again next year, said Chris, but if he comes back they’ll be trumpeting it “loud for all to hear,” looking to try to restore pre-pandemic attendance levels.

The Grinch and his faithful four-legged companion Max crashed the RAD Santa fundraising party at Potter’s Nursery last week, an event held to raise money for gifts for kids at the Canuck Place in Abbotsford. Potter’s owner, Cam, helped keep the Grinch away from the gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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