Peace Arch Duty Free owners help raise $540K for children’s diabetes program

Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his wife Usha hosted a fundraiser last week to benefit the Diabetes Transformation Project at BC Children’s Hospital. Their store reopened last month after being closed since March 2020. (File photo)Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his wife Usha hosted a fundraiser last week to benefit the Diabetes Transformation Project at BC Children’s Hospital. Their store reopened last month after being closed since March 2020. (File photo)
Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his wife Usha (second from right, and right, respectively) hosted a fundraiser last week to benefit the Diabetes Transformation Project at BC Children’s Hospital. They are pictured here with (from left) son Reggie, daughter Renita and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Malcolm Berry. (Contributed photo)Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his wife Usha (second from right, and right, respectively) hosted a fundraiser last week to benefit the Diabetes Transformation Project at BC Children’s Hospital. They are pictured here with (from left) son Reggie, daughter Renita and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Malcolm Berry. (Contributed photo)
Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his wife Usha hosted a fundraiser last week to benefit the Diabetes Transformation Project at BC Children’s Hospital. Their store reopened last month after being closed since March 2020. (File photo/Contributed photo)Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his wife Usha hosted a fundraiser last week to benefit the Diabetes Transformation Project at BC Children’s Hospital. Their store reopened last month after being closed since March 2020. (File photo/Contributed photo)
Two-year-old Amari Raju – the granddaughter of Peace Arch Duty Free owners Peter and Usha Raju – made a $50,000 “leadership gift” to her family’s effort to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. (Contributed photo)Two-year-old Amari Raju – the granddaughter of Peace Arch Duty Free owners Peter and Usha Raju – made a $50,000 “leadership gift” to her family’s effort to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. (Contributed photo)

A fundraiser hosted last Thursday (Aug. 26) by Peace Arch Duty Free Shop president Peter Raju and his family raised more than $540,000 towards BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s efforts to “transform diabetes care for children across the province.”

The event, held at the Rajus’ Richmond home, was “an intimate outdoor gathering, reflecting the theme ‘It takes a village,’” a news release issued Wednesday (Sept. 1) by the BCCHF states, describing invited guests as “a community of influential business leaders who shared their commitment to the children of B.C.”

The funds will benefit the foundation’s efforts to raise $2 million for the hospital’s Diabetes Transformation Project, the release adds, noting the project launched thanks to support from some of the same South Asian business leaders in 2019 and 2020.

The project’s goal is to provide resources, support and training to families across B.C. who face challenges providing specialized, precise care to manage their child’s diabetes. Diabetes among children – 90 per cent of which is Type 1 – is expected to increase by 35 per cent by 2030.

“It truly takes a village to raise a child with diabetes and we are incredibly grateful to this community of leaders for their tireless support to change the lives of kids fighting a disease that impacts children and their families for life,” the release states.

Significant contributions at last week’s event – which was held just two weeks after the Rajus were able to reopen their store, located at the Peace Arch (Douglas) crossing, following more than a year’s closure due to the pandemic –included a $50,000 “leadership gift” from Amari Raju, who is a young philanthropist and the hosts’ granddaughter.

READ MORE: Peace Arch Duty Free Shop reopens with ‘skeleton staff’

Other guests who donated were Tony Singh of Fruiticana, Manjit Lit (entrepreneur), Eric Gaunder (Hayden Diamond Bit Industries), Daljit Thind (Thind Development) and Rahul and Aman Gill (The Gill Team).

Minister of Labour Harry Bains and incumbent Liberal candidate Randeep Sarai were among guests of honour.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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