White Rock firefighters hang a banner on their firehall Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a joint effort with the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society to raise $500,000 for the Peace Arch Hospital. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock firefighters hang a banner on their firehall Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a joint effort with the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society to raise $500,000 for the Peace Arch Hospital. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Surrey, White Rock firefighters fulfill pledge of $500K to Peace Arch Hospital

Money allocated to hospital’s mental health ward

Firefighters have always raced against time, and it appears that mindset goes beyond extinguishing fires.

The Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society and White Rock Fire Fighters Charitable Association finalized a $500,000 commitment to the Peace Arch Hospital this month, three years ahead of schedule.

In 2016, White Rock and Surrey firefighters made a commitment to the hospital’s mental health ward. The initial goal was to complete the fundraising effort in five-to-seven years, with seven years being the “realistic goal.”

However, on Wednesday, Surrey and White Rock firefighters raised a banner at the White Rock Fire Hall celebrating the completion of the fundraising effort, with a final installment of $110,000 being paid to Peace Arch Hospital.

Surrey charitable society vice-president Dylan Van Rooyen said the joint fundraising effort was split on a per capita basis. Surrey Fire Fighters Association’s annual Charity Golf Tournament was responsible for the lion’s share of the funds, and money collected through future golf tournaments is to be earmarked for mental health initiatives.

“Mental health is obviously very important to firefighters because we see it when we go to calls. But we’ve also had internal challenges where we’ve had to focus on mental health,” Van Rooyen said Tuesday.

The success of the golf tournament has steadily grown over the years, with a slight setback this year due to COVID-19.

“It used to be about $50,000 to $60,000 net each year. We almost broke $100,000 in 2019, this year we were a little shy. We actually managed to pull it off with COVID-19 restrictions placed in September… and we were around $85,000 this year,” Van Rooyen said.

The virus has changed how the Surrey society raises funds. Van Rooyen noted that events such as beer tastings and beer gardens, which proved to be successful in the past, aren’t possible for the time being. He said the Surrey charitable society is shifting towards online fundraising.

“We’re just trying to get the word out that, hey, you might not see us as much in the community, but we’re still here, we’re still helping, we’re still having great success.”

White Rock Fire Fighters Charitable Association director Paul Farrant said it was a honour to work with Surrey on the initiative.

“Obviously it’s close to our hearts, Peace Arch Hospital being in our community. It was a no-brainer for us, to help where we could,” Farrant said.

As a thank you for the gift, the waiting area of the hospital’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Zone, as well as the seclusion room and quiet/consultation room, was to be named in the crews’ honour.

“As First Responders, Surrey and White Rock Fire Fighters consistently go above and beyond to protect and serve our community. In that same spirit, they have now completed an incredible $500,000 donation pledge to Peace Arch Hospital’s new ER. We are so very grateful for their generosity and their service,” said Stephanie Beck, executive director of Peace Arch Hospital Foundation.

Like Surrey, White Rock firefighters had to cancel some fundraising event this year due to COVID-19, including their annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa.

White Rock firefighters are to host a Christmas tree chip on the first Sunday in January (Jan. 3) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Centennial Arena with COVID-19 safety measures.

Charity and Donationsfirefightersmental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $420,570 in grants for local arts, culture groups

This happened at Monday night’s council meeting, to cover 2021

Investigators placed dozens of yellow evidence markers on the ground near the site of a fatal shooting in Langley City early Wednesday morning. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: 22-year-old man killed in targeted shooting in Langley

South Surrey vehicle fire may be linked to homicide: police

Surrey-raised actor Michael Coleman in some of the roles he’s played since the mid-1990s. (submitted photo)
Chat with Robin Williams helped send Surrey’s Coleman into world of acting

‘For me, it was a game-changer,’ says co-founder of Story Institute acting school

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday (Jan. 26, 2021). (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey murder victim stabbed 42 times: pathologist

RCMP digital-evidence specialist also among witnesses

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: Surrey’s public hearings are for being heard

Surrey public hearings of late have been devolving into something less than intended

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

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

Some of the fake gold sold by con artists in B.C. RCMP said there have been reports of the scam in Richmond, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Langley and New Westminster from Jan. 17 through Jan. 22 (RCMP)
‘Dubai gold’ scam is back in the Lower Mainland

If someone offers to sell gold jewelry at a bargain, it’s probably fake, police warn

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

Most Read