South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts at Surrey Fire Hall No. 17 in Rosemary Heights Friday

South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts at Surrey Fire Hall No. 17 in Rosemary Heights Friday

Firefighters recognize student whose family business was destroyed by fire

Marine Drive fire gutted family business, but Valeria Carvalho maintained grades

Local firefighters have honoured an outstanding South Surrey student for maintaining top marks despite a devastating fire that destroyed her family’s White Rock business last year.

Valeria Carvalho, an 18-year-old Semiahmoo Secondary grad, received $4,000 to put toward her university tuition in a cheque presentation at Surrey Fire Hall No. 17 in Rosemary Heights Friday.

“It’s pretty awesome. I have a very long career ahead of me. It’s just nice to know I do have the support out there, and that there is support out there for students,” Carvalho said.

On March 8, 2015, fire engulfed Gelateria Italia and Coffee Shop at 14901 Marine Dr. Firefighters contained the blaze within two hours, but the business – ran by her parents Jose and Eliete Dos Santos – was destroyed.

Carvalho still managed to find time to volunteer in the community and maintain her grades, earning her a place at University of Victoria this fall. She plans to major in kinesiology with a goal of continuing on to medical school.

“It has been a really tough year, but I needed to maintain my grades,” said Carvalho. “It was hard, but we got through it. We’re still getting through it.”

The bulk of the scholarship, $2,500, comes from the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society, by way of Ignite a Dream – an annual fundraising event and program that aims to help local students by supporting their education. The White Rock Firefighters Association – touched personally by last year’s Marine Drive fire – contributed another $1,500.

The Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society also honoured another Surrey student Friday, presenting Cecilia Pang with the Dianne Watts Surrey Legacy Award, now in its second year.

Pang, an 18-year-old Fraser Heights Secondary grad, received the $2,500 scholarship for achieving high marks and for her community service.

Pang plans to study life sciences at University of Toronto in the fall, majoring in global health with an eye on a career in pediatrics or humanitarian work.

“I really like children, that’s why I have a focus on pediatrics. I have experience with working and volunteering with them,” she said.

Pang has volunteered with the Free the Children charity, helping build a school in a poor community of Nicaragua, and also Rotary International, with which she assisted with a sanitation project in the Philippines.

 

 

Just Posted

Bucketheads – A Star Wars Story is being filmed near the 19000-block of 16 Avenue in South Surrey. (Mychaylo Prystupa photos)
Star Wars fan film ‘Bucketheads,’ shot in South Surrey, makes its debut

Volunteer initiative features new LED screen technology

Darlene Bennett, right, speaking about her murdered husband Paul at a press conference in 2018. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Widow of Surrey murder victim seeking referendum vote on policing transition

Darlene Bennett files application with Elections BC seeking binding referendum vote

Canada’s Janet Leung steals second base during playoff action at the Softball Americas Olympic Qualifier tournament in South Surrey on August 31, 2019. Leung and her teammates have not been back to Softball City since, as the 2020 and now ‘21 Canada Cup tournaments have been cancelled. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck photo)
Canada Cup softball event cancelled for second straight year

Travel restrictions, health and safety concerns cited as reasons for cancellation

Surrey RCMP say the gang enforcement team has seized a partial brick of suspected cocaine on May 9, 2021 in the area of 108th Avenue and 152nd Street as part of ongoing targeted gang enforcement in the city. In addition to the suspected cocaine, police say officers also seized the vehicle, multiple cell phones, $160 in cash and a knife.
Surrey RCMP seize ‘partial brick’ of suspected cocaine

Police say when packaged for street-level sale, that’s equal to 1,225 doses or ‘25 busloads of people’

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Black Press Media)
Adam Hamdan has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorist charges given temporary residence in Canada

Adam Hamdan had been facing deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship through his Palestinian parents

Transit Police Const. Peter Kwok was filmed in December during an encounter on the Canada Line when a woman refused to wear a mask. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Woman who went viral by refusing to wear a mask on SkyTrain to pay $460 in fines

Footage of the December incident was recorded by the passenger, herself, and posted to social media

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Lumber is shown in the back of a van in this recent image provided by the Saskatoon Police Service. The skyrocketing prices for lumber is fuelling a trend that has authorities across the country warning builders to keep their guard up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Saskatoon Police Service-Const. Derek Chesney *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It is a gold mine:’ Builders warned of rising lumber thefts across Canada

Many North American mills curtailed production temporarily earlier in 2020 because of COVID lockdowns

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
BC family whose move was stopped by COVID border closure back on the road

Maple Ridge’s Kaplan family will arrive at their new home in Nova Scotia on Wednesday

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after 2 bodies discovered on remote road near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Boats in the Fraser River launched from Barrowtown and Ft. Langley on May 12 to search for the missing fisherman. (Steve Simpson)
Boats search the Fraser River for missing Abbotsford fisherman

Anyone with ‘a boat, time, or a drone’ to help bring Damian Dutrisac home was asked to help

Most Read