A&W is raising money for MS with the sale of teen burgers on Thursday, Aug. 16. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

WHAT’S IN STORE: Food helps make miracles happen in Langley

In this week's business column, editor Roxanne Hooper focuses on eateries and one local operator.

It seems like I’m always focused on food, but in fairness, Langley has a plethora of eating establishments, and many of them do some great community work that’s worthy of note.

Such is the case today (Thursday, Aug. 9) when the staff at all the Dairy Queen stores around town help make miracles happen.

For the 16th year running, DQ is hosting their Miracle Treat Day. Locally, that means they’re raising money for BC Children’s Hospital.

In this case, proceeds from every Blizzard treat sold goes to the hospital, to help care for sick and injured kids.

Since this effort began in 1984, DQ has raised more than $135 million to help children across North America. That’s pretty impressive.

Dare I twist your arm, and encourage you to help out this worthy cause?

All five DQ locations in Langley, that means the one in Aldergrove, one Langley City, one in Walnut Grove, one in Willowbrook, and the newest one in Willoughby Town Centre, will be participating.

Click here for a related DQ video

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Ahoy mateys, it’s that time again

I notice a sign in front of the Willowbrook White Spot the other day saying their team is gearing up for Pirate Pak Day.

Adult Pirate Paks will be sold next Wednesday, Aug. 15, with money going to send kids and young adults with life-threatening illnesses and chronic disabilities to camp.

“Pirate Pak Day is a big fundraising event for us, one that both our guests and staff look forward to every year,” said White Spot president Warren Erhart.

“Money raised on this special day helps young mateys facing difficult challenges, and wouldn’t be possible without the participation of our valued guests. Everyone embraces the spirit of the day, with both staff and guests alike donning their swashbuckling best for the occasion.”

Through the years, this program has raised $660,000 for Zajac Ranch and sent mor than 400 to camp. White Spot week at Zajac Ranch runs from Aug. 20 to 23 and includes activities ranging from kayaking, and climbing to swimming and horseback riding.

The Langley store has typically surpassing every one of the other 60-plus restaurant in B.C. and Alberta in the numbers of Pirate Paks sold. Their goal, according to the sign, is to sell at least 2,500 this time out.

“Our long-standing partnership with White Spot provides a direct benefit to kids with medical needs,” said Mel Zajac, founder of Zajac Ranch for Children.

“Each year, we are grateful for White Spot’s Pirate Pak Day fundraiser, which helps provide life-changing summer camp experiences for children in B.C. and across Canada. I encourage everyone to enjoy a Pirate Pak on Aug. 15, so that as many deserving kids as possible can experience summer camp.”

They ask that you keep that in mind next week, and consider visiting one of the three local restaurants – one’s next to Willowbrook, one across from Colossus in Walnut Grove, and one in Aldergrove.

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Hankering for a burger and a way to help MS

And this time next week, it’s time to buy a burger at A&W to help raise money and awareness about multiple sclerosis.

The Dub is gearing up for its annual charity fundraiser.

Like most of the fast food chains, A&W restaurants hold an event once a year where they donate a portion of their sales to a charity of choice.

In the case of A&W, they’ve been partnering with MS Society of Canada for a decade now to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis.

The Burgers to Beat MS event happens next Thursday, Aug. 16 (not today).

There’s a few ways to help. Customers can round up their bill at the till, they can purchase a $2 limited edition sticker, drop some cash in a donation mug, or order a teen burger and know that $2 from that purchase price will go to beating MS.

Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day and women are three times more likely than men to be diagnosed.

So, when thinking about what you’re going to eat for lunch or dinner next Thursday, weigh the benefit of stopping at A&W. Remember, if you want to eat healthier, you can always order that teen burger in a lettuce wrap instead of having the bun. Just saying…

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Entrepreneurship rewarded

Speaking of food, hats off to Ryan Moreno. Many of you might know him as the face for the Joseph Richard Group.

This food, beverage, and entertainment company has significant holdings in Langley, so regulars at the local eateries might know or at least recognize Moreno.

Well, he’s being recognized as a trailblazer, making it as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

This is described as one of the most prestigious business awards for entrepreneurs in 60 countries around the globe, and Moreno is in the running for his contributions to the hospitality industry in the Pacific region.

He is the co-founder and CEO of the company that operates restaurants, pubs, liquors stores, a hotel, and commercial real estate development company – many of those assets right here in Langley.

Of course, Moreno had to share the accolades.

“While it’s an honour to be selected as a finalist for such a prestigious award, for me, this achievement is really a reflection of our entire JRG organization” he said.

“Our commitment to excellence, innovation, sustainability and corporate responsibility, and the results we’ve achieved are team accomplishments that are only possible thanks to the individual commitment of each of our employees.”

The award winners will be announced in late September in Vancouver.

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Tasty tasting event

One last thing, on the subject of food.

It was a big crowd of folks who turned up for the Well Seasoned’s Hot August Nights open house and tasting event this week.

On Tuesday, for only two hours, more than a dozen vendors set up in the parking lot in front of the gourmet food store, and handed out samples.

This event sure seems to be taking off, as more people are taking up cooking as a hobby and seeking out new and different foods as more than just necessary sustenance but as part of a pleasure seeking experience.

(SEE PICTURES BELOW)

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Lockers at the bank?

Also, stay tuned. I’m going to try to dig up more information on new Amazon lockers being set up in Langley.

Rather than having your packages left on your doorstep when you’re not home, and potentially stolen, Amazon.ca is looking at some innovative partnerships that might work.

I’m still trying to confirm this, but apparently they’ve partnered with TD Canada Trust to have packages delivered to lockers at the Willowbrook branch.

Now, it’s not like they’re going to hang on to it indefinitely. You’ve got three days to pick up.

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