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Happy Halloween!

Fall is a magical time of year. Along with the change of seasons, it is a time of year where many communities and cultures celebrate a variety of holidays and festivities.

At CHV, many youth enjoy the revelry around Halloween. As part of this celebration, youth partake in pumpkin carving and decorating.

When Deborah Cherry, a passionate and committed monthly CHV donor, who has been supporting CHV for 18 years, heard that we needed pumpkins for a Halloween decorating party, she knew exactly what to do.

Deborah and her partner, Steve Williams, love Halloween. When they lived in West Vancouver, they would open their gates on October 30th and 31st to view Steves carvings of 450 pumpkins, along with special effects. This event was a fundraiser. On October 30th, the event was specifically set up for children from Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place, and Ronald McDonald House, who arrived in ambulances to the wheelchair- and stretcher-accommodated yard. October 31st was open to the public.

Upon moving to Langley, the couple was thrilled to discover Aldor Acres Family Farm, just down the road from them. Owned by Albert and Dorothy Anderson (the farm name derived from combining their first names Al-Dor), Aldor Acres is an 80-acre farm with a pumpkin patch, animals, hayrides, a hay jumping pile, forest walks, and more. As it turns out, Albert and Dorothy are also CHV supporters. And so began a friendship that has spanned over a decade.

This is a special time of year, at Aldor Acres — it’s their Fall Pumpkin Patch and Market time, where they welcome 500 children a day and up to 3,000 people on weekends, to their farm. During this time, Steve volunteers at the farm. He carves pumpkins and takes visitors for rides on the hay wagon.

When Deborah heard that CHV was looking for pumpkins for youth to decorate, she reached out to the Andersons who generously donated 150 pumpkins for the youth to decorate. Not only did they donate the pumpkins, but on a cool, fall Friday, Albert and Steve kindly delivered the pumpkins to CHV.

CHV staff greeted Albert and Steve and unloaded the truck with smiles on their faces. It was a wonderful afternoon with staff and members from the community pulling together to support the youth at CHV.

As you can see from the photos, the youth thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This year, youth from the Crisis Program chose to decorate the pumpkins using paint, and youth from our recently opened Foundations program went old school and carved their pumpkins.

Not only are the pumpkins going to be thoroughly enjoyed by the youth as part of their Halloween, but any pumpkins that weren’t used in the decor are going towards spooktacular soups and delicious desserts.

CHV would like to thank Albert, Dorothy, Deborah, and Steve for opening their hearts and supporting the community’s most vulnerable, so that they could find joy during the fall season.