The 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society held its marquee fundraiser Friday night at the Centrium, the Fire and Ice Gala.
Board Chair Lyn Radford said the event was not just about raising money but also a chance to build relationships with individual and corporate sponsors.
“It also gives us an opportunity to test our hosting capabilities because there are going to be a lot of receptions, a lot of VIP events that will be happening at Games time,” Radford said.
The gala sold out during its pre-sale period. There were 500 guests expected to attend.
“The day before pre-sales closed, I finally said, ‘Listen, we’ve got to hold back a couple of tables. We haven’t even got our sponsors yet. We haven’t even had room for them yet,’” Radford said.
Collins Barrow Red Deer LLP was the title sponsor.
One of the live auction items up for grabs was a ski trip on a private jet to a private ski hill, Radford said.
Cari MacLean was the gala’s co-emcee alongside Olympic speedskater Catriona Le May Doan.
MacLean credited volunteers for making the event possible.
“It’s a big undertaking and as long as you’ve got the volunteers, and the passion and the spirit, you can pull things off like this,” MacLean said.
As an honourary board chair, MacLean added for those in attendance supporting the Winter Games, the gala acts as a sign of things to come in 2019.
“I would think that the message should be excitement. That Red Deer is actually going to be hosting a national event. It is going to showcase the City. It is going to showcase the people. It will showcase the athletes that will one day, probably have an opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games,” MacLean said.