A party fit for all the Peninsula's princesses
It's time to dust off the tiara and find a gown fit for royalty for the third annual White Rock Princess Party.
Little girls on the Peninsula once again have the opportunity to visit a land of make-believe accompanied by friends straight out of their favourite fairy tales Saturday, Aug. 26.
Organized by longtime White Rock resident Myra Merkel, the special day is designed to make each girl feel like the princess she is, inside and out, while learning about core values.
"We do lots of fun, girly things and there is the princess aspect, but there is a deeper part," Merkel said. "We want to help build a positive, loving and accepting community. It's the kind of community I want my grandkids to grow up in."
Merkel began organizing the royal event two years ago, after she was inspired by her son, Evan Bird – a White Rock firefighter – who biked across Canada with seven other men to raise funds and awareness for Variety.
"I thought it was an amazing thing to do and I said I wanted to get involved with fundraising. So, I thought, what can I do that would involve little girls. My son has two little girls and, of course, they are the most precious things to me in the world," Merkel said.
That was when she decided to host her first princess party, which received an overwhelming response.
Deciding to use the event as a way to garner awareness and funds for a local charity, Merkel sat down with her son to find a cause they could support.
"I wanted to do something close to home," Merkel said. "Evan had always wanted to build an all-abilities park on the beach that would serve all people of all ages and all abilities.
"When he told me his idea, I said I could get behind that."
With the help of local businesses, friends and volunteers, nearly 190 princesses were treated to a day of fun, complete with a visit with their fairy godmother, raising more than $10,000 for the fund.
Merkel hopes to have similar success with this year's event, which still has plenty of room available for latecomers.
Saturday's event will include a slew of fun activities, including a cakewalk, cookie decorating, professional photographs and face-painting. Each princess will be greeted by a fairy godmother and will receive her very own tiara.
Tied into each activity will be one of eight core values – helpfulness, friendliness, courteousness, thankfulness, kindness, being considerate, loving and honest.
"If we all embodied those virtues, the world would be a better place," Merkel said.
Best of all, Merkel promises a very special guest will be sharing the special day with the girls.
"This year, we have Snow White coming to help with all the activities," she said.
"It will be a wonderful, magical day that takes you back to your childhood. We have so many moms who come by, and to see their faces as they relive their childhood – dreaming about glass slippers and their Prince Charming – it's just so wonderful."
The party will be held from 12:30-3 p.m. at Star of the Sea community centre, 15262 Pacific Ave.
To sign up, or for more information about the upcoming event, visit www.wrprincessparty.com