Fundraising campaign launched to rebuild White Rock’s iconic pier

‘Friends of the Pier’ will seek to raise $2 million for construction project

A community-based fundraising committee has announced plans to raise $2 million to help rebuild the City of White Rock’s iconic pier.

The ‘Friends of the Pier’ fundraising committee held a campaign launch press conference at Memorial Park, at the city’s waterfront, Thursday where chair Bob Bezubiak announced that the group will fund the project’s shortfall.

And helping fundraising efforts get off to a solid start will be contibutions of some $90,000 in donations from Landmark Premiere Properties and Bezubiak’s employers, TD Bank.

The city’s waterfront pier was partially destroyed after a violent windstorm Dec. 20.

Flanked by Miss White Rock Snover Gill and fellow Youth Ambassadors Sabrina Zeng and Emma-Rose Harvey – who, with other Youth Ambassadors, were involved in the first initiative to start a GoFundMe campaign, within hours of the storm, to help fund repairs – Bezubiak said the question he is always asked about the Friends of the Pier project is “why fundraise?”

He explained to the crowd of about 100 people at the event that city insurance will only pay for repairs to the damaged part of the pier. Because these must meet current building code and environmental standards, they will ultimately force the city to upgrade the entire pier to meet the same standards, he said.

“The estimated cost of rebuilding and replacing the 104-year-old pier is about $16.2 million, but even with insurance, potential contributions from other levels of government, and dipping into the city’s reserves, there is an estimated shortfall of about $2 million,” Bezubiak said.

“One option would be for the City of White Rock to borrow the money, but we believe a better option is for all of us who are friends of the pier, and every generation that has enjoyed the pier over the years, to lend a hand and help out as a community.”

The committee is co-ordinating a number of fundraising activities and will accept donations through Semiahmoo Rotary, which can issue charitable tax receipts.

One of the principal fundraising efforts for the campaign will be selling a total of 1,300 wooden planks for the new pier for $1,000 each, committee member Norman Stowe, of Landmark Premier Properties, said, adding that his company would buy the first 50.

Further contributions, from TD Bank, revealed by Bezubiak and BIA president Alex Nixon, included a $20,000 donation, via Semiahmoo Rotary, and another $20,000 toward the Concerts at the Pier series (now re-christened Concerts for the Pier) which returns this year starting July 4, and which will also raise money for the fund.

Other initiatives planned include recruiting sponsors for the pier’s 16 decorative arches; planning a 200-person dinner featuring celebrity chefs Matt Stowe and Vikram Vij at Oceana PARC; selling ‘Friends of the Pier’ commemorative T-shirts; hosting a summer-long ‘buy-a-beer-for-the-pier’ promotion at waterfront pubs and restaurants and during TD Concerts for the Pier; and commissioning local artists to turn 30 damaged pier planks into works of art for auction at the Landmark Uptown Gallery this fall.

In addition, individual donations can be made directly to www.friendsofthepier.com, which also lists details of community fundraising events.

Bezubiak said that every dollar raised by the campaign will go directly to the pier, as the administrative and overhead costs are “completely covered.”

“This is a real chance for all of us to pay it forward for every stroll and every picture ever taken on the pier,” Bezubiak said, encouraging other businesses and organizations to get involved and provide their own fundraising suggestions.

“We have a lot of work to do, but there’s tremendous community support and people want to pitch in and make a difference. Just imagine being able to tell your kids and grandkids that you helped rebuild the new pier. This is all about community and what we can do together for our city and generations to come.”

Among those speaking at the event were Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell, who said the white rock has ancient significance in their culture and that the SFN consider the pier a sister feature, even though it belongs to more recent history.

Other speakers included Ritu Khanna, executive director of the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce, and White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker.

Walker said the city has awarded the initial contract to repair the broken portion of the pier for close to $3 million and that it should be open to pedestrian traffic again by the end of August.

Walker added that all the partners are committed to making the pier “better than ever.”

“Our community and region are famous for working together to help out, and I want to thank the Friends of the Pier and all those who will step up and help us rebuild our pier over the next couple of years. It’s a chance for all of us to work together as we rebuild the pier, something that means so much to all of us,” he said.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child – it takes more than a village to repair a pier,” Walker added, noting the initial boost provided by Landmark and TD Bank, and the interest it indicates throughout the whole region.

“I know there will be more,” he said. “This is our pier, this is your pier and it will open again in no time at all.”

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

 

Just Posted

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Glenn Rose

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read