By Zachary Cormier
The Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) will once again be hosting their annual gala fundraiser.
The seventh annual LAPA GALA will take place on March 5th this year. It is the athletic park association’s biggest fundraiser of the year, said LAPA Marketing Director Darrin Thompson, with the proceeds going towards the future development of MEGlobal Athletic Park.
“It’s a chance for us to come together for a great dinner and some entertainment. Over the years we’ve had some great celebrity guests that come in and that has been entertaining for our fans,” Thompson said of the event.
This year’s gala, which will be held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, will feature a number of special guest appearances including recently retired Calgary Stampeders star running back Jon Cornish.
“We get to welcome back one of our longtime supporters, Jon Cornish, for a final appearance at the gala so we can celebrate the times with Jon,” Thompson said.
Cornish retired from the Stampeders earlier this year after a nine year career in the CFL. In that time Cornish won two Grey Cups, a Most Outstanding Player Award and was named a CFL All Star three times.
He has attended the gala the past four years to support the athletic park, Thompson said.
“He was actually brought up by (former Stamps QB) Henry Burris and when Henry ended up going to a different organization in the CFL, Jon continued to come up here,” Thompson said.
Part of the draw of the event is that the celebrities, including Cornish, are ‘auctioned off’ at the beginning of the evening.
“The auction winner will have Jon sit at the table and have dinner with them and sign some autographs and take some pictures with them and stuff like that,” Thompson said, adding that Cornish will normally stick around after the entertainment is finished to talk with fans.
This year’s LAPA GALA will also feature a 1930s theme as the LMC will be turned into Club LAPA for a night.
“You’ve got the option if you want to come out and do the whole zoot suit and the ‘30s style, absolutely. Or if you want to just be laid back, we’ve got a very laid back style,” Thompson said, adding that attendees can wear their favourite football, hockey or sports jersey.
In addition to all of the entertainment, LAPA will also be unveiling their latest capital project that night.
“It’s been one that’s been in discussion for a number of years and it’s finally going to come to fruition,” said Thompson.
The project, he added, will be an outdoor basketball court facility inside MEGlobal Athletic Park.
“From the consultations with the community and the community groups there, there is no really good outdoor basketball facility in Lacombe or area, so that’s one of those things that we want to ensure.”
Thompson said that, as in previous years, the LAPA GALA is aimed at being the ‘Most Fun Night in Lacombe All Year’.
Tickets for this year’s LAPA GALA are $100.
For more information or to purchase tickets contact Darrin Thompson at 587-877-6294 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.