The Lacombe Athletic Park Association is once again holding its gala fundraiser and they need the help of Lacombians to make it a success.
The gala is set to take place on March 8 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Cocktails are at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m.
Like so many other initiatives related to the Lacombe Athletic Park, past LAPA chair Darren Gagnon said that the gala is a success because of all the good people who support it.
“Like everything about this project, it has to do with the people.”
This year, LAPA is trying something a little bit different with the gala. Gagnon said this is the first year a musical group has not been booked as the evening’s entertainment. Instead, the LAPA is bringing comedian and impressionist Gery Schubert to Lacombe.
In addition to top-notch entertainment, Gagnon said there are always great silent and live auction items to bid on, as well as fantastic prizes in raffles and other contests. Barbecue packages, a Grey Cup trip, a Montreal Canadiens experience and a number of sports items and some ‘very timely’ NFL memorabilia will be up for grabs.
There is a $1,000 cash door prize guests are entered into through admission and there is a diamond champagne contest where 100 $20 glasses of champagne are sold along with the chance to win a diamond pendant valued at approximately $1,400. While the gala has the look of a high-class fundraising event, Gagnon said it is not a “Snobby, stuffy event.” Attire is casual and guests are invited and even encouraged to wear their favourite team jersey.
“It makes it a lot of fun. Nobody wants to sit around in a suit all night.”
Those who attend the gala not only have a chance to support the LAPA, but also get a chance to interact with some of what it has accomplished. For example, Gagnon said guests are ushered to their tables by members of the Lacombe Rams football team, so that guests can talk a little bit with the young people who use the facility.
The Rams aren’t the only sports’ celebrities that will be present at the gala. Former Montreal Canadien and Stanley Cup winner Gilbert Dionne, 2013 CFL Most Outstanding Player Jon Cornish as well as a few other CFL stars and some Edmonton Eskimos alumni will be present as well, just to name a few.
Gagnon said when the LAPA worked out how they would operate each year five years ago, it became apparent that they would need to do need to do a lot of fundraising. So, the LAPA came up with the gala to be its main fundraiser for the year. It was so successful the first year it was held, it has been held every year since, said Gagnon.
He added LAPA is continuing to provide Lacombe and all of Central Alberta the use of a top-notch sporting facility. He added that people should come out and support the event in order that they can continue doing so.
Between 320 and 350 people attend the gala, said Gagnon. He added that, typically, the event raises an average of $40,000 for LAPA each year.
Tickets for the event are going fast for the event. Gagnon said that he would guess less than eight tables of eight remaining.
Tickets can be purchased by any of the LAPA board members. More info is available at www.lacombeathleticpark.ca.