HELPING FAMILIES - The Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer is hosting their first Space for Families Gala at the end of January. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta hosts first Space for Families Gala

Gala is in partnership with the house’s yearly Freeze the House curling bonspiel

The Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta is hosting their very first Space for Families Gala on Jan. 27th at the Harvest Centre.

The gala is in partnership with the house’s yearly Freeze the House curling bonspiel.

“It is a galaxy/sci-fi themed event,” Events Coordinator Cassandra Galenzoski said. “We have amped it up with theatrical performances, as well as some dancers and dueling guitars by the Clamdaggers. It should be a fun night. We are really excited and we will be throwing a few surprises in.”

The event costs $75 per person or $600 for a table, and all funds raised, including raffles and other event draws, goes directly to the Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta day-use program.

“It is one of our signature events that will help us towards the $1.2 million operating costs we have,” Galenzoski said. “The funds from this event will go towards our day-use program, which is designed for Red Deer families to use the amenities here at the house.”

Those amenities include meals, laundry use, TV use and a rest and recharge room, which gives families a break from their time spent at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

“Last year we had 261 day-use passes used and this year, not including December, we have had 850 passes used,” Galenzoski said. “We are trying to make sure we are servicing the people of Red Deer.

“This comes with an additional cost, which means we are going through more of our operating budget, but we are really excited to help families of Red Deer and Central Alberta.”

Funds donated to the house go to help families like Nicky Martel, who used the house’s services during a time of great need.

“Ronald McDonald House is an organization I will be thankful of for the rest of my life,” Martel said in a press release. “At the House, there was always a shoulder to cry on. It was never a pity party but a listening ear, a warm hug when you needed it and even when you didn’t. When the weight of the world was crashing down on us, RMH picked us back up. It offered us a sense of normalcy during a time in our life that was not normal for us.”

For families staying at the house, the cost to stay per night is $170, but it only cost the families $12 per night due to donations from the public.

“Most of the donations go straight to the families and the program,” Galenzoski said.

Red Deerians can also volunteer at this event.

“We are always looking for volunteers at the house. If someone contacts us, we will put them to good use,” she said.

She added, “We would love to see people buy tickets and come down and support us. We are very thankful that Red Deer does support us. Throughout the holiday season they have been very wonderful.”

Tickets can be purchased through Cassandra Galenzoski at 403-340-2007 ext. 104 or cgalenzoski@rmhcsca.org.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

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