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Fundraising gala raises $200K for Surrey charity

PICS hosted the gala at the Fraserview Banquet Hall in Vancouver
Premier David Eby and other dignitaries dancing at the “Friends of PICS” gala April 12, 2024. (Submitted Photo: Aziz Ladha)

A “tsunami of supporters” helped raise over $200, 000 for Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) on Friday.

Over 1,000 guests attended the sold-out Friends of PICS fundraising gala at the Fraserview Banquet Hall (8240 Fraser St.) in Vancouver on April 12.

Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society is a Surrey-based registered non-profit that has been serving communities throughout the Lower Mainland since 1987.

Satbir S. Cheema, CEO and president of the PICS Society, was extremely thankful for the “overwhelming support” from the community.

“It took more than three decades of hard work, networking and selfless community service undertaken by our founder and founding CEO, the late Mr. Charanpal Gill, who devoted his entire life fighting for the rights of marginalized, racialized and underprivileged people; to ensure a life of dignity and respect for them. He was my role model and mentor who supported my journey of learning and growth,” Cheema said.

Proceeds from the event will go towards the construction of PICS Guru Nanak Diversity Village.

The village will be a three-storey, 125-bed long-term care facility for seniors in Surrey. The facility “will have the ability to provide culturally sensitive long-term complex care to seniors with a South Asian background in a sustained and purposeful manner, within the context of person-centred care,” reads a PICS pamphlet.

“The B.C. government’s funding of $118 million combined with the $5 million still being fundraised by PICS Society will bring the project to life soon,” reads a PICS media release Tuesday (April 17).

Various politicians from all levels of government attended, including Premier David Eby, MP Randeep Sarai, Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin, MLA Jinny Sims, MLA Sagrup Brar, MLA Mike Starchuck and some Surrey city councillors.

The gala included a multicultural troupe dance that was choreographed by Esha Cheema and Salena Goundar. Tickets for the fundraising gala were $150 and $1300 per table.

READ MORE: Expanded adult day program for seniors in Surrey

On the day of the gala, the province announced PICS would be getting funding from the provincial government to add 162 spaces a week to its adult day program.

Programs such as this help seniors who live at home and are cared for by a loved one, stated B.C.’s minister of health, Adrian Dix, in a media release.

Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I cover health care, non-profits and social issues-related topics for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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