The ladies of Soroptimist International, Central Alberta chapter are busy preparing for their Pyjamas and Pearls event – an annual fundraiser with entertainment, food and many great prizes to be won.
The event takes place on Nov. 7th at the Holiday Inn Suites in Gasoline Alley. Tickets are $80 each or $600 for a table of eight. Cocktails are at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
All proceeds from the event are used in local Soroptimist programs, specifically the annual Mother-Daughter Conference, the new ‘Dream It, Be It’ conference and upcoming community awards and scholarship opportunities.
“We’re going to have a lovely meal prepared by the Holiday Inn chef. Randi Boulton will be entertaining so we’re looking forward to that. Also, Vinnie Taylor from the Cruz is going to be our emcee this year. We will also have a really fun photo booth and of course the raffles and silent auction. There will be lots of dancing and singing with Randi, so it should be all kinds of fun,” said organizer Sherri Smith.
Tickets are currently available by contacting Sylvia Bouteiller at 403-886-4298 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re doing a couple special raffles this time. One of those is specifically to raise money for our new ‘Dream It, Be It’ girls’ conference – an off-shoot from the Mother-Daughter conference. Last year, we had girls aged 10-13 on one day and then older girls the second day. This year, the first day will stay the same with the ‘Dream It, Be It’ event taking over the second day for the older girls.”
The ‘Dream It, Be It’ conference is a new organization-wide program that aims to encourage young girls to pursue post-secondary education.
“We’re still in the planning stages for it but we we’d like to have some career counselling and we hope to show them a bit about how to overcome adversity. It’s geared towards the girls who might not think they can or should go to school. It gives them a chance to learn about other careers women are in and that kind of thing,” Smith explained.
In order to fund raise for this event a special raffle will take place during the Pyjamas and Pearls event night.
“We’re going to be raising money for that event from one particular raffle where I’ve asked for autographed books by some published authors. We’ve got some really interesting books for that – I’ve got one from Jimmy Carter, one from Jackie Collins before she passed away, Amanda Lindhout, Chris Hadfield – a great selection.”
Another designated raffle will take place the evening of the Pyjamas and Pearls event that will see all proceeds go to the Mother-Daughter conference. As per tradition, the funds raised from the silent auction items of the night will go towards creating the Violet Richardson Scholarship Fund and the Live Your Dream: Education and Training awards program.
“Some of our auction prizes include an electric recliner from The Brick, a camera from McBain and a Harley-Davidson cooler filled with stuff from Candy Bags Sweet Stop. That is ongoing right now – we’re selling tickets for it now. We’re hoping to do really well with that,” said Smith.
The local Soroptimist branch is excited to also announce their partnership with the Community Foundation Fund to create a Soroptimist International of Central Alberta Fund.
“Now, charitable donation receipts can be issued to people who want to donate to Soroptimist. It’s funneled through and managed by the Community Foundation Fund, and they distribute the money where we want it to go. Our mission is pretty broad – to help women and girls – so we have a broad ability to help now,” Smith explained.
“We’re thinking about using that money for projects for domestic violence or human trafficking. There’s a variety of agencies we support and we want to use this money to team up with them and do projects together to make the donation more meaningful.
“The donations will go towards agencies that help women and girls and we’re excited to announce that because it’s not very well-known yet.”