SURREY — Two spirited little girls, ages four and seven, are making big waves in the world of local community giving.
“Over the years they’ve raised, I want to say, about $2,500,” said Bonnie Burnside, Ryley Patterson’s great aunt.
“I think it’s really great for little kids to understand not everybody has what they have.”
Ryley is seven years old and Chloe Gravel-Fallis is four. Despite sharing only 11 years between them, the pair are old hands at raising money and toys for the less fortunate.
The girls are staging their third annual “FUNraizer” this coming Saturday (Nov. 26) to help stock Surrey Christmas Bureau’s shelves. The spaghetti dinner, at the Knight & Day restaurant at 9677 King George Boulevard from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., costs $12 and tickets can be bought at the Downtown Surrey BIA office or by calling 604-580-2321.
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“In addition, Ryley and Chloe request all guests to bring a toy or cash donation to give to the Surrey Christmas Bureau,” said Burnside, who manages Downtown Surrey’s Business Improvement Association.
The girls’ first FUNraizer, in December 2014, also featured a spaghetti dinner at Olympia Pizza (now known as Peacock Bar & Grill) and raised $1,500 as well as three large boxes of toys for the Surrey Christmas Bureau.
In July 2015, the girls held their first “Foodraizer,” featuring entertainment, popcorn for sale, and a sucker pull. They also recycled old car seats with help from Phoenix Society’s “Red Shirts,” raising $222 and 400 pounds of food for the Surrey Food Bank.
Chloe and Ryley’s then held their second FUNraizer, in December 2015. The spaghetti dinner, this time at the Knight & Day restaurant, raised $900 and three boxes of toys for the Christmas bureau.
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PICTURED: Friends Chloe Gravel-Fallis, left, and Ryley Patterson pour lemonade at a stand in Surrey last summer as part of their ongoing fundraising efforts. (Submitted photo)
This past June their lemonade stand outside Save-On-Foods in Whalley raised $200 to help build a new Kaboom playground in Bolivar Park. “The lemonade stand was completely their idea,” said Chloe’s mom, Tracey Gravel.
Over the summer they also set up lemonade stands at the Eat Play Live Well Street Fair, Picnic en Rouge and Movie under the Stars, raising $110 for Surrey Food Bank’s Tiny Bundles Program.
“The girls have been brought up being involved in events,” Burnside noted. “This comes naturally to them.”
Gravel also works for the BIA, in administrative services. “I love being Chloe’s mom,” she said. “I think the cuteness factor helps too. She’s been raised in it for sure. She was immersed in it right away.”
In fact, Chloe was only three weeks old when her mom took her to her first volunteer event, this one for the BC Summer Games.
Ryley’s mom Tanya Patterson, who lives in Cedar Hills, said her daughter’s “big heart makes me feel really proud of her.
“It’s refreshing to know there’s still some good in the world.”
Ryley said she likes to help people “because it’s nice.”
Chloe said she helps “because the boys and girls need to have some toys.”