Rebecca Bollwitt models a “West Whalley Jr. High” T-shirt sold to raise funds for the Women of Options project. (submitted photo)

Rebecca Bollwitt models a “West Whalley Jr. High” T-shirt sold to raise funds for the Women of Options project. (submitted photo)

Miss 604’s ‘Surrey Nostalgia’ merch boosts Options’ $1.5M housing fundraiser

‘This project evokes nostalgia but it also gives back,’ blogger Rebecca Bollwitt says

With 50 Surrey-area women each tasked with raising $25,000 to build and furnish an affordable housing project in Newton, Rebecca Bollwitt got nostalgic.

For her fundraiser, the Surrey-raised “Miss 604” blogger created a “Surrey Nostalgia Collection” of T-shirts and other merchandise, in partnership with MAKE Vancouver.

Items sold include “West Whalley Jr. High” hoodies, “Rodeo Drive-In” baseball shirts, “Surrey Place Mall” coffee mugs and water bottles, and more, with details posted to westwhalley.com.

It’s part of Options Community Services’ “Women of Options” project (womenofoptions.ca) to raise $1.5 million in support of a new 100-unit housing project at 81st Avenue and King George Boulevard, in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary.

Launched in February, the campaign harnesses the fundraising power of 50 “influential South Fraser women” for a few months, ending June 30.

• READ MORE: Options launches campaign to raise $1.5M for housing project in Surrey.

Bollwitt says she wanted to come up with a unique fundraiser that shows her Surrey pride.

“I went to West Whalley, where in hindsight being an editor of the school yearbook gave me skills I still use today,” noted Bollwitt, who now lives in Vancouver.

“Likewise, I worked at Surrey Place Mall, where I learned the basics of customer service, which is also still very helpful with my career. Working on community projects has always been a passion of mine and I attribute that to the caring, diverse, and inclusive community I grew up in. This project evokes nostalgia but it also gives back.”

Bollwitt says 25 per cent of proceeds from purchases in the collection will be donated to Options Community Services, a registered charity with 88 programs that helped more than 100,000 people last year in Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langley.

• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Surrey-raised blogger marks 15 years of Miss604.com with a party for charity.

The other “Women of Options” are raising money in many different ways, including personal donations, gift cards, silent auction, painting classes and even doughnut sales. The fundraising women include Anita Huberman, Judy Higginbotham, Dianne Watts, Michele Partridge, Louise McNight, Nira Arora, Karen Huang, Raj Arneja, Penny Priddy and dozens of others listed on womenofoptions.ca.

• RELATED STORY: Gift-card fundraiser to benefit Surrey affordable-housing project.

“It’s pretty great to be working with all of these really creative women,” said Ginny Hasselfield, Options’ Director of Development.

“To date we have almost 1,000 new donors as a result of the efforts of the Women of Options. Of these over 150 donors have given us $1,000 or more.

Looking ahead, Options plans to host a virtual 50th-anniversary gala in November, “and hopefully tie up any fundraising loose ends,” Hasselfield said. “We will be doing a Mexican Fiesta live from Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen in Surrey. Gordon Hogg will emcee and the door prize will be an all inclusive trip to Mexico.”

She said organizers of the fundraising campaign are thrilled to have so many people from the South Fraser and other parts of B.C. supporting the cause.

“The Women of Options campaign was conceived during COVID times when face-to-face meetings were out of the question,” Hasselfield noted. “These 50 women and their supporters can say they have made a real difference in someone’s life. They have enabled us to fulfill our commitments to BC Housing and have furthered the cause of providing supportive and affordable housing to the vulnerable people in this community.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

fundraising

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP say Gemina Mitchell (inset) was last seen on May 9, 2021. (File photo/Contributed photo)
Missing Surrey woman last seen May 9

Police are asking for help locating Gemina Mitchell

Musicians perform at Surrey’s Brownsville Bar Park on Saturday, June 19. (submitted photo)
Surrey-area musicians plug in for Saturday-afternoon jams at riverside park

‘We have done this for a month now every weekend, and it draws a socially distanced and safe crowds’

Earl Marriott Mariners football coach Michael Mackay-Dunn (centre, wearing white hat) is retiring from teaching and coaching. (EMS Football photo)
Longtime Earl Marriott Secondary teacher, football coach retires

Michael Mackay-Dunn hangs up coaching whistle after 22 years

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

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

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Most Read