An annual summer fundraiser for Peace Arch Hospital, typically staged on White Rock’s iconic pier, will not go ahead as planned this year.
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation officials confirmed March 25 that the event has been postponed until 2021, “due to the evolving COVID-19 crisis.”
Now in its fifth year, the picnic was set to return to the newly rebuilt pier on Aug. 6, after storm damage forced its temporary relocation in 2019. However, with large-scale events now facing indefinite uncertainty, sponsor Landmark Premiere Properties decided to hold off until next year, a news release states.
Landmark’s president and managing partner Ray Chen said while it is disappointing that the event isn’t possible this year, “we’re looking forward to being back in 2021 and working with the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation to make it the best ever.”
It’s become “synonymous with summer in White Rock,” he said in the release.
PAHF executive director Stephanie Beck expressed appreciation for Landmark’s “generosity and commitment to our community, with or without Picnic on the Pier.”
The release notes that the company has donated $20,000 to “Peace Arch Hospital Foundation’s Area of Greatest Need Emergency Response Fund for COVID-19.”
The donation brings the total amount raised through the event since 2016 to more than $200,000.
The Area of Greatest Need Emergency Response Fund for COVID-19 is separate from the Rapid Response Grant program that was announced by the foundation earlier this week, Beck clarified to Peace Arch News.
“The Rapid Response Grants are being supported by special funding approved by the Board to support the community and/or PAH staff, much like our Healthy Community Grants,” she explained.
“Emergency Response Fund for Covid-19 donations will go into the Area of Greatest Need so the PA Hospital can access what it needs.
“For instance, if someone makes a donation to maternity, those funds can only be used for maternity. The Area of Greatest Need gives us the flexibility to designate what is needed like masks, ventilators, etc. as an example.”