Annual LAPA Gala a fun night for sports fundraising

The Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) will host its annual gala in March and they are looking to the community to fill the seats.

The Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) will host its annual gala in March and they are looking to the community to fill the seats. The gala will take place on March 7th at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Tickets are available for individual sale at $100, or as a table of eight for $750. Cocktails and appetizers begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7.

Tickets are purchased by contacting the Lacombe Athletic Park Association at 403-597-3290 or lapabookings@gmail.com.

“I might be a little biased, but I think it is the most fun fundraising dinner that I’ve ever been to. It’s an incredible meal, with great service and always topnotch entertainment with a host of celebrities and dignitaries,” said LAPA board member Darren Gagnon.

“Everybody shows up in jeans and a jersey and it’s a very relaxed atmosphere. There are so many groups involved in seeing this project succeed that it is a very diverse crowd. Most tables are sold to businesses so you get to see business people and community leaders showing their support in the night, yet they are walking around in jerseys. It’s just such a fun night but still classy. It really shows the generosity of our community.”

Gery Schubert will return for the second year as emcee for the evening. This year he will bring his character Coach Bobby to host the event. Gagnon said that Schubert will be a lot of fun for the guests.

Prizes will be made available through silent and live auctions, as well as a door prize of $1,000 cash.

“We have the coolest auction prizes. This year we have a signed helmet from Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, who just won the Super Bowl. We also have a 100th anniversary Hockey Canada jersey that Connor McDavid wore in the juniors, which will probably be signed by him. We have all kinds of jerseys signed and other cool prizes like a barbeque for 20 people that comes with a barbeque and all the food.”

Throughout the evening celebrities are ‘raffled off’ to join visitors’ tables. The celebrities bring with them a prize. This year, 1993 Stanley Cup champion and former Montreal Canadien player Gilbert Dion will return to the gala, and the prize that comes with his presence is a trip to a Montreal Canadiens game in Montreal that also comes with a tour of the city and the Bell Centre.

Gagnon said there will be members of the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team and the University of Calgary Dinos football team at the event. Calgary Dino Andrew Buckley attends as a special guest to be auctioned off at the event.

Buckley was honoured in 2014 with a Frank Gnup Memorial Trophy as Most Valuable Player as well as the Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com