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It's time to get fancy for New Westminster Family Place

Get out your dancing shoes to support a group that helps families with young children.
Get ready to dance the night away on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in support of New Westminster Family Place.

There’s still time to pick out a party outfit and get set to dance the night away for New Westminster Family Place.

The local non-profit is holding a Get Fancy for Family Place fundraiser next week — and there are still some tickets left for you to take part.

The fun happens at Centennial Lodge, Queen’s Park, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 7 to 10 p.m.

“We know it’s going to be a super-fun night,” said Dana Osiowy, executive director of Family Place.

The grown-ups in the house are encouraged to find some child care for the evening and get away for a night of music, mingling and, of course, dancing. Spinning the tunes will be DJ Byron James of CFOX, whom Osiowy discovered when he DJ’d at the anniversary celebrations for Westminster Pier Park in the summer.

“He was so good. He got everyone dancing,” Owiosy said. “He played songs that everybody liked; it was a real gift.”

In keeping with the dance vibe, organizers have lined up what Osiowy calls “classic high school dance snacks” for the snack bar — yes, you can eat your fill of potato chips and chocolate bars. Plus, Steel and Oak Brewing Co. is providing beer for the occasion.

There will be a Family Place Through the Ages display, a 50-50 draw and, of course, the night’s fundraising highlight: a silent auction.

Osiowy said local businesses have been generous with their support, and there are some big-ticket items up for auction — among them an inflatable two-person kayak, an iPad Pro (worth about $1,500 retail) and a night at the Inn at the Quay.

All in, Osiowy is hoping to see the event bring in about $7,000 for the organization, which provides programs and services for families with young children.

It’s a particularly critical time for the organization, which is facing an impending move out of the community space it currently occupies at École Qayqayt Elementary School downtown. With the school district needing to convert the space to classrooms, Osiowy is on the hunt for a new downtown premises where the group can continue to offer its services — which include parenting programs, workshops, a toy lending library and its ever-popular family drop-ins, running both downtown at Qayqayt and uptown at the Eighth & Eight arts space (Massey Theatre).

The Eighth & Eight site will continue operating, but it’s important to Osiowy to find a new downtown site before she and her team need to move out of Qayqayt come March 1, 2023.

“There are so many families with young children downtown,” Osiowy pointed out.

New Westminster Family Place has become an important part of people’s routine, she said — especially in the wake of COVID-19, which hit families with young children hard when many outings and programs  went dormant for months.

“It’s really important to me that we don’t have a long break in service delivery,” Osiowy said.

But she’s optimistic, noting she has “a lot of irons in the fire” right now. And, she adds, Family Place can operate its programs and services just about anywhere, out of just about any kind of premises.

“We’re unique in that we can make any space work. We can be really flexible,” she said. “Every day, all I do is talk to people about what might be possible.”

In the end, Osiowy said, she knows the organization will continue to be there for local families.

“We know that Family Place is the people who work there; it’s not whatever space we have. We will be able to make magic happen everywhere we go,” she said.

Get tickets to Get Fancy for Family Place

  • What: Get Fancy for Family Place, a fundraiser for New Westminster Family Place
  • When: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Centennial Lodge, Queen’s Park
  • Tickets: $20 (includes one beverage ticket); buy through Eventbrite
  • Info: Find out more about the group's programs and events at the New Westminster Family Place website.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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