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New Westminster shops step up to help out

Kudos to local businesses that sought to help those less fortunate during the recent holiday season.

Kudos to local businesses that sought to help those less fortunate during the recent holiday season.

Brick & Mortar Living held a Shoe the Shoeless holiday shoe drive that collected 235 pairs of shoes - 88 pairs of men's, 135 women's and 12 pairs of children's shoes. The business, located at 42 Begbie St., delivered most of the men's shoes to the Lookout Emergency Aid Society and planned to donate the remaining shoes to the Elizabeth Fry Society.

Uptown, Sonse Home Design collected food donations for the food bank. When I dropped by the shop at 544 Sixth St. during the holiday season, it had already collected several bins of food for those in need.


The New Westminster Historical Society is offering an eclectic selection of items to kick off the New Year.

The society's first presentation of 2013 will take place on Wednesday, Jan.

16 (tonight) at 7: 30 p.m. in the auditorium of the New Westminster Public Library at 716 Sixth Ave.

"Once again, the historical society will kick off the year with a varied selection of images and stories from New Westminster's past," said a press release.

"Throughout the year, individuals suggest topics and these are used in programs whenever possible."

Images gathered for January's presentation include the former Eaton's store (the old David Spencer and present Army & Navy) on Columbia Street, the opening of the arts centre in Queen's Park in August of 1985 (with a special guest), detailed views of some medals, trophies and other arti-facts and archival pieces, the corner of Sixth and Columbia streets and how it's changed through the decades.

"This is always a light, fun, eclectic presentation that features images not regularly used in programs but that are very interesting to see," said the press release.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free presentation. There is no need to pre-register.


Bella Cakes and Pastries helped sweeten up the holiday season for a local family - and the food bank.

Fabio and Gina Cornale, owners of the Sapperton bakery, held their annual gingerbread house raffle. This year's masterpiece raised $916 for the food bank.

"Well this year was our best ever!" noted Fabio, who was thrilled to donate the funds and more than 100 food items to the New Westminster food bank.

Royal City resident Bonnie Westergaard was the lucky winner of the masterpiece. She dropped by the bakery with her husband Jim and daughters Emma and Sarah to claim her prize.

Fabio's 2012 masterpiece included four buildings - Bella Cakes and Pastries, fellow Sapperton businesses Manny's Barbershop and Cadeaux Gifts and Home Embellishments, and a row house. In addition to buying raffle tickets, people could also get raffle tickets by dropping off donations of non-perishable food items to the food bank.


Boston Pizza is aiming to raise $5,000 at its 21st annual Valentine's fundraiser.

Between Jan. 7 and Feb. 14, diners at the Boston Pizza in New Westminster can write a Valentine's message to that special someone on a red paper heart - $2 for a small heart or $5 for a larger heart.

All proceeds go to Boston Pizza Foundation, which supports its local, regional, and national charity partners.

According to a press release, the Boston Pizza Foundation redirects 10 per cent of all Boston Pizza New Westminster's fundraising from the sale of Kids Cards and the paper hearts, back into a local charities fund to be allocated by the restaurant. Boston Pizza New Westminster had previously donated these funds to the Royal City Education Foundation in order to provide low-income families with a night out in that they may not normally be able to afford.

"Selling these hearts not only benefits national charities, but also the community and local charities as well," says Tracy Pham, community relations coordinator, from Boston Pizza New Westminster. "I personally challenge the residents of New Westminster to cover our walls entirely of paper hearts through a $2 or $5 donation. It'll be fun!"

On Feb. 14, Boston Pizza is offering diners a chance to enjoy a heart-shaped pizza at any of its 350 locations and is donating $1 from each sale to the Boston Pizza Foundation. Boston Pizza expects to make more than 50,000 heart-shaped pizzas (in individual, small and medium sizes) on Valentine's Day this year.