LAPA Gala raises nearly $40,000 this year

Organizers excited about this year's success and are already planning for next year

The seventh annual Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) Gala fundraiser proved to be the most successful, with manysupporters from the local community who came out and helped raise a substantial amount of money, which will go towardsthe Association.

Just under $40,000 was raised on March 7th, according to LAPA Marketing Director Darrin Thompson, who said the incredible donations of silent and live auction items provided by community members, local businesses and corporatesponsors were a major part in raising quite a large amount of money. Items that included sports memorabilia, a TorontoRaptor’s team autographed basketball and many other “phenomenal” items provided by supporters including the Gord Bamford Foundation.

“The number we had was close to $80,000 but after everything was paid for we raised just under $40,000 which is the second most amount of money raised in the gala history.”

The large sum of money that was fundraised will go to the LAPA, where it will allow the organization to keep up with oncoming projects as well as making it easier for sports groups in the community to continue using the space.

“The money goes directly towards the Foundation which we ensure that user groups, local and minor sports teams and organizations are provided with reasonable user fees and to keep user fees down and ensure that the facility is up andrunning and (taken care of).”

It was a pleasant surprise, added Thompson, that there was so much financial support from the community despite the economic hardships that many in the community are facing during the current times but the LAPA plans on giving back tothe community in many ways, one that will be available to the public soon.

“We unveiled our latest capital project which will be an outdoor basketball court and it’s going to be within the fencedfacility, there will be lighting as well so people will be able to play night games as well as during the day.”

The LAPA, according to Thompson, is always looking for partners and supporters and anyone interested can contact them via social media or by direct e-mail or phone number.

All plans for the basketball court have been approved, the LAPA is only awaiting a title sponsor before completing tenders and making sure, “Everyone is available to build it.

“I just want to say that we really appreciate all the support and sponsorship that has been offered to the LAPA over the years and we look forward to inviting people, if they haven’t been to the Me Global Athletic Park, to check out the events there. Itis the hidden jewel of Central Alberta.”

Thompson also invites everyone to the Prairie Fire’s home opener as they host their very first home opener in five years.The game will be against the Calgary Mavericks at ME Global Athletic Park April 1st at 7:15 p.m.

shelby.craig@lacombeexpress.com