St. Barnabas’s Valentine’s Day event was a fundraiser to help pay down the $17,000 debt incurred due to the replacement of their heating system. Cleverly titled, Turn Up the Heat, the successful Latin-themed event raised $10,000, boosted by a lead gift from St. Francis-in-the-Wood Anglican Church in the Caufeild district of West Vancouver. It wasn’t just about the money as a blast was had by the 100+ participants, ages 1 - 93.
In preparation, a team from the parish, cleaned, decorated, cooked, and hustled around New Westminster getting everything organized. This parish group was enthusiastically supported by dozens of kids, parents, grandparents, neighbours, Spanish speakers, and English speakers.
On the night, a teenaged dance instructor from a local studio walked the Turn Up the Heat guests through the steps for the Samba and Merengue piece by piece and then there was much opportunity to try out the newly-learned dance skills. There was also: a puppeteer, a marvelous lady DJ, an abundance of good food, a group of Dominican ladies who REALLY knew how to dance, four city councilors, and their spouses (who were bartenders, and MC) all joining in to make this a night to remember. Synod staff member, Tasha Carrothers attended with her family and said that she “had never had so much fun. I love salsa music and dancing.” A local coffee shop donated $900 which was a month’s income from the tip jar, cementing a new parish love affair.
And… the new furnaces are functioning very well. Between the church building and the hall/daycare, four furnaces are required to heat the physical plant. It is estimated that St. Barnabas’ are now saving approximately $150 per month on fuel costs with these new, energy efficient furnaces.
As of this writing in mid-February there are no officially planned party events, however, there have been some informal discussions about hosting another event to help offset the cost of some water issues that will require repairing and replacing drainage pipes and drain tiles. Stay tuned for further updates and future fun at St. Barnabas.
In a note that St. Barnabas’s rector, the Reverend Emilie wrote to Bishop Skelton reporting on the event she wrote, “The Kingdom has come close, in celebration and love, and . . . we can pay back half of our diocesan loan.”
(Written with files from Bill Main and Emilie Smith)
PHOTOS:St. Barnabas’ Parishioners Richard Tomkinson and Maryann. Dancing lessons. Maco, Betty and Pamela, the kitchen crew prepared delicious and plentiful food. A lucky winner of a raffle basket, Juan Ainslie. The Reverend Emilie Smith and Amber Anderson, New Westminster’s Citizen of the Year for 2014. Photos by Bill Main