One of the family highlights of the Christmas season, the CP Rail Holiday train is on track for another year of entertaining and fundraising.
The train makes a three-week journey from Quebec to Port Moody, with plenty of stops. The most important stop to those around these parts, of course, is when the train makes it to Port Haney station in Maple Ridge, across the street from the Billy Miner Pub.
Mark the calendar for Tuesday, Dec. 18 and be dressed warmly for the 7: 45 p.m. event.
Entertainers on the Maple Ridge train will include country band Doc Walker and Miss Emily.
The Port Haney Neighbourhood Change Initiative will be caroling at the event to add to the festive holiday atmosphere.
The train program began in 1999 and has raised more than $6.4 millon and has brought in more than 2.6 million pounds of food in the American and Canadian trips.
What is raised in each community stays there, with an additional donation coming from CP to top off whatever is collected and contributed during the evening's event.
"It is our biggest event of the year next to the Firefighters For Families. Last year we were given more than $20,000," said Joanne Olson, executive director of Friends In Need Food Bank, who added that she is concerned that this year will be the first time the event is held during the week instead of on the weekend.
"I hope everyone will make it out and support us," Olson added.
Bring non-perishable food donations along. Infant formula, canned meats, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and canned fruits and vegetables are all in high demand.