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SHARE asks for fundraising help as social services demand up 40%

The early bird ticket sale for the Imagine gala ends on Feb. 2. The signature fundraising event for SHARE Family and Community Services, called There's No Place Like Home, is in Coquitlam on March 2, 2024.

When SHARE officials thought about the theme for this year’s gala, they focused on the change the social services agency and community make for many Tri-City residents.

From counselling and housing to children’s and refugee supports, the charity has boosted the lives of many residents — in some cases, almost like switching from black and white to technicolour.

As in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, which flips into colour partway through, SHARE wanted reflect the transformations it sees for its signature annual fundraiser on March 2.

Titled No Place Like Home, the Imagine gala aims to recognize SHARE’s successes, as well as thank the corporate donors and community that have made the agency’s work possible.

“We have the capability to come together and create big changes and opportunities for our residents,” CEO Claire MacLean told the Tri-City News last Friday, Jan. 19, in Port Moody.

But MacLean said the need is greater than ever.

About 5,000 residents now use the SHARE food bank each month — up 40 per cent from last year — while the demand for mental health programs is up 50 per cent.

As a result, the Imagine fundraising target is north of $300,000.

For the 19th annual gala, for which early bird tickets at $150 are on sale until Feb. 2, attendees can dress “whimsically” to follow the yellow brick road, like in The Wizard of Oz, and recognize the courage that many Tri-City residents are taking to overcome challenges.

“There’s a massive need right now,” MacLean said. “So many people are struggling. The housing crunch, combined with the cost of living, is really crippling. People fear they will lose their homes."

"But we believe our community is what makes things happen for everyone.”

Presented by Wesbild, the event includes appetizers from local restaurants, entertainment and dancing to DJ music.

Meanwhile, the 50/50 raffle starts on Feb. 2 while the online silent auction begins on Feb. 16 (prizes are still sought; to donate, email community@sharesociety.ca).


No Place Like Home is on Saturday, March 2 from 7 to 10 p.m. in The Show Theatre at Great Canadian Casino Vancouver (2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam). Tickets rise to $175 after Feb. 2. Visit the SHARE website. To sponsor, email darcel.moro@sharesociety.ca.