Hospice Society gears up for Gala fundraiser

Funds raised support the Comfort and Care Campaign

The Red Deer Hospice’s 10th Annual Spring Gala will be held on March 31, and is anticipated to raise 10% of the Hospice’s yearly operating budget.

Red Deer Hospice’s budget is more than $1 million and only a portion of that is covered through an agreement with Alberta Health Services. The remaining budget must be raised through donations and fundraisers like the gala.

Tickets are priced at $175 a person with a $100 tax receipt available. The money raised by the event goes to support the Comfort and Care Campaign.

“We need money for food, extra medical costs like blankets and gloves, and general operational costs, and that is what the Comfort and Care Campaign covers,” said Brenda Watts, executive director.

Because of the recent roof collapse at the Red Deer Lodge, the Spring Gala has been moved to the Capri Hotel and Convention Centre.

Moving the event to a larger venue has allowed for the printing of an additional 200 tickets, for a total of 650 tickets this year.

“We sell out almost every year, and because of the media coverage of the Lodge people are more aware of the upcoming gala,” said Watts.

Attendees will enjoy a cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m., followed by a five-course dinner and a mix of live and silent auctions throughout the event.

Some of the larger auction items to be bid on include vacation packages like fly fishing, an evening with the Red Deer Rebels, and a party planning package.

“We have people who attend who are interested in raising their hands in the live auctions and those who aren’t.”

The breakdown of where the majority of the money comes from during the fundraiser is a “very even split” between tickets, raffles, auctions, and donations, she said.

The semi-formal event is expected to raise more than last year’s $105,000 because of the increase in tickets available.

The gala is primarily an adult event but still ends up attracting a very diverse crowd.

“We have family members who have had a loved one journey through our hospice that attend, as well as previous volunteers and many others.”

The Gala Committee has been planning this event since just after last year’s and members had plans in place by September with tickets on sale in December.

There are 22 members on the Committee including two current board members and five previous board members who are now volunteering.

“The board members came back very excited to be a part of the tenth anniversary of the gala.”

For more information this event or other fundraisers, visit www.reddeerhospice.com.