Kwantlen elves help light up Christmas

December 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas trees at Richmond city hall, some decorated with the help of Kwantlen elves, will aid local charities. (Sandy Buemann photo)

Christmas trees at Richmond city hall, some decorated with the help of Kwantlen elves, will aid local charities.

The “Elves Wanted” posters were hung on Kwantlen’s Richmond campus bulletin boards with care, in hopes that busy students would have a moment to spare.

And two Kwantlen elves did turn up to help the Richmond Sunset Rotary Club decorate Christmas trees at Richmond City Hall last week for the eighth annual Winter Wonderland put on by the club. Sarah Ramli, 18, who is studying criminology at Kwantlen, was one of them. The other remains anonymous.

Ramli says she is broadening her horizons, as she usually decorates a Christmas tree at the city hall in Delta home, where she lives, because, “I just love to volunteer and it’s Christmas too, so you can’t beat it.”

Last week, Ramli she dragged her boyfriend to Richmond city hall where they decorated a tree of red, green and gold. Ramli said it didn’t take too much time out of their schedules, and she hopes someone will get the benefit of their work. Money raised when the trees are auctioned goes to the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre or the Christmas Fund.

“You just feel good about doing something and it’s like you are actually helping a greater good and there’s just that satisfaction from doing something that you just can’t describe,” she said.

This is the first year only seven of the Christmas trees are up for auction, according to Linda Coyle, president of the Rotary club, because there was a lack of sponsors this year. “I think the economy has a lot to do with it,” said Coyle.

Kwantlen chose not to sponsor a tree this year, but has done so in the past. “I was really disappointed that Kwantlen didn’t sponsor a tree, because I thought it would have been a great profile,” Coyle said.

She says it was the first year Kwantlen students individually came to help, which was fantastic.

Winter Wonderland kicked off at Richmond’s City Hall on Nov. 29, with a lighting of the city’s big Christmas tree by the mayor. Free concerts will be held every Saturday from now until Christmas and those who attend are asked to take and donate a non-perishable food item.

Kwantlen receives $250,000 donation, largest-ever

November 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Peter Dhillon announced a quarter-million-dollar donation to Kwantlen\'s horticulture program Monday. (Nick Major photo)

Peter Dhillon announced a quarter-million-dollar donation to Kwantlen's horticulture program Monday. (Nick Major photo)

The Kwantlen School of Horticulture has recieved a $250,000 donation from a prominent Richmond resident, the Kwantlen University Foundation officialy announced today.

Peter Dhillon, president and CEO of the Richberry Group, Canada’s largest cranberry producer, chose to support Kwantlen’s growing horitculture program because of its contributions to the community, and his family’s belief in accessible education.

Dhillon has been a resident of Richmond for the past 30 years. He has served on many local and national boards, including Simon Fraser University’s Board of Governors, the Vancouver International Airport Authority and Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.

“It’s our belief — me, my family’s, and my business — to support horticulture industries any way we can,” said Dhillon to a small crowd of reporters and photographers at the Richmond campus conference centre Monday. “It’s an industry that’s been very good to my business, my family, my employees and myself.”

In return, Kwantlen will name a research lab the  R&H Dhillon Entomology Suite after Dhillon’s parents, Rashpal and Harbhjan, who invested in cranberry bogs in the late 1970s. Rashpal was also Canada’s first Indo-Canadian police officer.

The identity of the donor was kept anonymous until the 11:30 a.m. announcement, with the advance media invitation only identifying the donor as a prominent Indo-Canadian member of the Richmond agricultural community.

The donation is the largest financial donation in Kwantlen’s 27-year history. Richberry Group had made a similar donation in the past to the University of British Columbia’s Horticulture school.