Stay Covered and Support Snacks for Kids with the Vancouver Firefighters’ Umbrella Day Campaign

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As a born and bred Vancouverite, I’ve learned not to let the rain stop me from getting outside and enjoying what the city has to offer. In fact, I actually really like the rain (I’m not kidding) since it feels familiar, like home. As long as I have my rain essentials – boots, a warm (preferably waterproof) jacket, and above all, an umbrella – I’m good to go exploring.

Especially lovely is walking in the rain with an umbrella or while sharing an umbrella with someone else (my boyfriend sometimes grumbles that I shirk my umbrella-holding duties). Even better, if that umbrella supports a good cause, you’ll feel particularly warm and fuzzy.

On November 9, 2016, from 7:30am to 10am, the Vancouver Firefighter Charities will be holding their annual Umbrella Day Campaign in downtown Vancouver. For $15, you can purchase an umbrella, with proceeds going to the Snacks for Kids Program. Clif Bars will also be available by donation.

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Snacks for Kids is a charitable partnership between Vancouver Firefighter Charities (VFC) and the Vancouver School Board (VSB) that ensures that no child suffers from hunger at school.

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Through VFC member payroll donations and fundraisers like the Umbrella Day campaign, money is raised to support the providing of nutritious snacks to kids who need them most. Each student gets a snack bar, a juice box, and a fruit option every day.

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One umbrella purchase will fund 45 snacks for these children. Participating schools include Lord Selkirk Elementary, Britannia Community Elementary, and Champlain Heights Elementary, as well as after school programs at schools like Hastings Elementary School and Grandview Elementary. In total, the program helps about 700 children at 22 schools.

Firefighters selling umbrellas will be found at 4 prominent downtown Vancouver locations.

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1. Main tent: Granville and Georgia Streets (in front of London Drugs).

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2. Granville Station (Dunsmur and Granville Streets)

These two spots are great starting off points for taking in the sights of the downtown core, including Robson Street, Granville Street, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Stanley Park, the Stanley Park Seawall, the Vancouver Aquarium, FlyOver Canada, Coal Harbour, the Olympic Cauldron, the Vancouver Convention Centre, and Pacific Centre Mall.

3. Waterfront Station (West Cordova between Seymour and Granville Street)

This spot is perfectly situated for exploring Gastown (the Vancouver Lookout, Water Street, Gassy Jack statue in Maple Tree Square, the Steam Clock). Or, you could hop on the SeaBus and take a trip to North Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay Market.

4. Yaletown Roundhouse (Davie and Mainland Streets)

Grab your umbrella and spend the day shopping and eating in sophisticated Yaletown, or perhaps walking on the picturesque seawall walkway and bike path. You can also catch the Aquabus and take a tour of False Creek, including visiting Granville Island.

You can also support Snacks for Kids by attending a fundraising event organized by WildTale Coastal Grill/The Flying Pig. It takes place November 9, 2016 from 6-10pm at the Flying Pig (102 Water Street) in Gastown.

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Not only will you get to meet Vancouver Firefighters and watch their Hall of Fame chin-up contest, but there’ll be a host of other highlights, such as Effingham Oyster shucking, canapés, BC wines and craft beer, a signature “The Red Umbrella” cocktail, and music by Virgin Radio DJ Byron James.

Further fundraising for Snacks for Kids will occur at the event through balloon sales with gift certificates (fitness watches, wine baskets), 50/50 tickets, and live auction items (eg a trip for 2 to Mexico, dinner for 8 prepared by WildTale/The Flying Pig chef Erik Heck and Le Crocodile chef Michel Jacob). Last year, the night was held at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House and raised over $100,000.

Tickets are $75 and available at WildTale Coastal Grill (1079 Mainland Street) or at one of The Flying Pig locations (102 Water Street, 1168 Hamilton Street, 127 West 2nd Avenue).

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