Sandy Sereda launched the witches luncheon four years ago, inviting local businesswomen to get into the spirit of giving at a pre-Halloween gathering. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Sandy Sereda launched the witches luncheon four years ago, inviting local businesswomen to get into the spirit of giving at a pre-Halloween gathering. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Witches convene for a cause in White Rock

Little-known annual gathering benefits Salvation Army

It was far from the dark of night when more than a dozen witches descended on White Rock beach Friday.

But the blustery, sunny day was “perfect” for the occasion nonetheless, as members of the informal coven gathered – cauldron, brooms, hats and all – on the pier for an event that has, so far, flown under the radar.

“It’s kind of a fun, crazy thing to do,” early arrival Rose-Anna De Michina said of the annual affair, as she waited – clutching her broomstick, her face adorned with a black spider’s web – on the Memorial Park staircase for her fellow witches to arrive.

Organizer Sandy Sereda said the initial spell was cast for the event four years ago, when she and other local businesswomen began a tradition of dressing up for a pre-Halloween get-together on the Friday before All Hallows’ Eve.

The affair – also a late birthday event for Sereda – originally held in Crescent Beach, always included bringing non-perishables to donate to the Salvation Army. But this year, “it’s going to be a little more impactful,” Sereda told Peace Arch News two days before the gathering, explaining that cash was to be added to the donation effort.

Friday, surrounded by women in striped tights and black hats, and bubbling with enthusiasm – toasting the occasion with a ‘Witch’s Heart’ martini at Five restaurant – Sereda said the wind-swept day “is what a witches’ luncheon should be.”

Noting she’d like to grow the fundraiser, Sereda said anybody interested in getting involved may contact her at sandra@gengrouprestaurants.com

Being a witch, she told PAN, is “very easy.”

“Being a witch means you have a purpose of having fun and making a donation.”

Friday, the group posed for a group photo at the pier – pausing to ham it up for a selfie with a visitor – before convening at Five.

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A few of the witches toast for a photo Friday at Five restaurant, after gathering for a group shot at the pier. The event, in its fourth year, was a fundraiser for Salvation Army. (Tracy Holmes photo)

A few of the witches toast for a photo Friday at Five restaurant, after gathering for a group shot at the pier. The event, in its fourth year, was a fundraiser for Salvation Army. (Tracy Holmes photo)

The witches ham it up for a selfie with a pier visitor Friday. (Tracy Holmes photo)

The witches ham it up for a selfie with a pier visitor Friday. (Tracy Holmes photo)

The witches – led by Sandy Sereda – battle gusting winds Friday to make their way to the pier for a photo op. (Tracy Holmes photo)

The witches – led by Sandy Sereda – battle gusting winds Friday to make their way to the pier for a photo op. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Witches convene for a cause in White Rock

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