Shine On! fundraiser for education and health coming up

  • Sep. 21, 2016 3:34 p.m.

The Rotary Club of Red Deer East along with Tools for School Africa will be hosting the annual ‘Shine On!’ event on Sept. 29th with the Swingband Allstars as entertainment.

The event will be held at the Harvest Centre at Westerner Park.

The evening will highlight new and gently used accessories for sale such as purses, jewellery, scarves and for the first time – men’s ties. Proceeds will go towards women’s education and health via Tools for Schools plus various Rotary Club programs.

Tools for Schools Africa works to keep more girls in school and to help develop better educational opportunities for kids in northern Ghana.

According to the web site, “We have done professional development with over 800 teachers to help improve the quality of classroom teaching. We built a boarding house for junior high girls as many of them have no junior high schools in their own communities and must leave home to continue attending school.”

The biggest part of their project is educational scholarships for promising girls at junior high, senior high and post secondary levels. Including the 2015/2016 school year, they have supported the education of more than 120 girls.

As to this year and bringing the Rotary Club of Red Deer East into the mix, Shine On! Chairperson Marilyn Pottage said it was decided that with changes in the educational reach of Tools for Schools in Ghana, there was room to add another group into the fundraiser who could benefit from the extensive support.

“We thought about the possibility of working with a secondary organization, and Rotary East seemed to be the perfect one,” said Pottage, who belongs to the Club as well.

Neil Swensrude, also from the Club, has come onboard to help with the Shine On! event.

“I think it’s important to know that the money raised will go to a lot of good causes,” he said. “As you know with Rotary, we are both local and international. We help the elderly, the infirm and we help youth. So we are all over everything.”

Meanwhile, Pottage credits the success of the annual Shine On! fundraiser to a number of things, including the fact that organizers aren’t trying to sell high-priced tickets or big ticket items. “This appeals to number of people because number one, it’s affordable. We get moms with their daughters and their granddaughters coming, and quite often we get groups of office workers or school teachers that come together. It’s a lovely evening out, the price is very reasonable, you get a gift bag at the door, you get a free glass of wine, you get a free dessert plate, there is live music all night plus you get the bargain shopping! Literally, we have five gallon pails full of necklaces that will be for sale.

“It’s not a big ticket thing – you see something and it might cost five bucks. What the heck!”

The first year of Shine On! organizers sold jewellery and raised a whopping $23,000 – far beyond what they had expected.

Meanwhile, plans have come together for what promises to be a tremendous and enjoyable evening – all for a great cause.

“We are once again providing a unique setting for women, daughters, sisters and mothers to come out and have a girls’ night in a 40’s atmosphere (men are also invited). With music, wine, dessert, a silent auction and hundreds of items for sale (mostly from $5 to $20), it is bound to be a great time for everyone,” said Pottage. “Also, 1940s style costumes are encouraged.”

Tickets are $35 each, or $150 for a five-pack and are on sale at or you can call Allan at 403-304-8993.