Fashioning support for all-abilities park

Weekend event raises $6,000 for waterfront initiative.

Cindy Faulkner

It was an afternoon of fashion, fun and fundraising featuring several familiar Peninsula faces Sunday when the White Rock/South Surrey chapter of CARP hosted Panache on Parade.

The fashion-show event at Morgan Creek Golf Course raised nearly $6,000 for White Rock’s all-abilities park, a planned initiative of the White Rock Fire Fighters Charity and local resident Myra Merkal.

Local MLAs Gordon Hogg, Peter Fassbender, Marvin Hunt and Sue Hammell were joined on the runway by White Rock city councillors David Chesney, Bill Lawrence, Lynne Sinclair and Megan Knight. Other notable community members on the catwalk included Beth Kish, executive director of the White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society; Youla Thomas of Comfort Keepers and the Semiahmoo Seniors Planning Table; Cindy Faulkner, manager of White Rock’s Avalon Recovery Society; and local jeweler Jose Latchinian, all of whom modeled fashions supplied by local boutiques.

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin delivered opening remarks at the event, during which he talked about his granddaughter Gabrielle, who passed away when she was 2½ from a rare and incurable genetic disease. Baldwin then announced a donation of $1,000 to the all-abilities park in Gabrielle’s memory.

Other speakers included Shoshana Litvack, a Rosemary Heights resident who competes in marathons despite being legally blind; Taylor Byrom, a Langley-based fashion designer who has created a line of clothing for young girls with complex medical and mobility challenges; and MLA Stephanie Cadieux (Surrey-Cloverdale), minister of children and family development.

White Rock firefighters were on-hand selling raffle tickets for more than two dozen prizes – including roundtrip airfare for two from WestJet – and received a “resounding cheer” for their work during the May 15 fire at Five Corners, according to organizers.

Plans have been in the works for an all-abilities park on White Rock’s waterfront for more than five years, and last summer, White Rock council voted unanimously to endorse the project.

Merkal and the fire fighters charity have been working to raise the estimated $600,000 to build the park, including hosting a yearly princess party fundraiser.

This year’s White Rock Princess Party takes place Aug. 6 at Centennial Arena – visit

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