There were some who showed up late for the Oct. 28 Child Haven dinner in Parksville and wanted a table with five seats together.
With a sold-out event on their hands, organizers were just unable to give it to them.
That, said local Child Haven International volunteer Marueen Hanright, was just about the only problem with the event, which drew a record number of residents eager to enjoy a taste of the exotic and help orphaned children at the same time.
“It was packed to the gunnels,” she said. “We had greater numbers this year, 320, compared to 270 last year. It was a big jump and we still had a waiting list. We could have sold 500 tickets.”
There are a number of reasons for the ever-growing popularity of the event.
“We obviously have a following now,” she said. “It was virtually sold out a couple of weeks before. I don’t know if it’s just good value for money or if it’s because the money goes to children.”
The event was highlighted by a brief speech by Child Haven co-founder Fred Cappuccino, who thanked Oceanside residents for their efforts on behalf of the charity, which runs eight orphanages in four countries.
The night was about more than having fun, although there was no shortage of that. It was also about helping children and Hanright said it did lots of that, too.
“I think it was another great year,” she said. “We don’t have the final figures right now, but I would say we were about where we were last year, somewhere between $34,000 and $35,000.”
In additional to the general fundraising this year, she said, people were able to donate to specific funds for specific needs.
The money raised goes directly to the orphanages, Hanright said.