The ninth annual Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) Gala is returning to the Lacombe Memorial Centre on March 3rd.
This year, the event will feature special guests former Edmonton Eskimo Adarius Bowman, Saskatchewan Roughrider Charlston Hughes, Gilbert Dionne and Gord Bamford all in support of the MEGlobal Athletic Field.
LAPA Gala Organizer Darrin Thompson said the event has typically always had a football flavour.
“Henry Burris was one of the main celebrities that had been coming when he was a Stampeder and even when he was a Hamilton Ti-Cat. John Cornish also came for a number of years and over the years it has evolved into who else can we bring that hasn’t been to Lacombe or Central Alberta.”
Organizers are always hoping to raise as much as they can each year, with funds this year going to future capital projects.
“Right now we are looking at the long-term use of the facility and evaluating what sort of needs the community and the athletic groups in the area are requiring,” Thompson said. “We are very proud that our field is one of those multi-million dollar facilities that has a mandate for amateur and youth athletics to play like the pros.”
Thompson said it is important to maintain facilities like MEGlobal, because they have typically not been available in Alberta outside of Calgary and Edmonton.
“We know there are facilities going into Red Deer and we are proud we are able to support their organizations here while that facility was being built. We are now welcoming new groups and new sports every year,” he said.
Thompson said it is important for LAPA to keep a laid back attitude at these events, which is billed as the, “Most fun night in Lacombe each year”.
“The dress is wearing your favourite jersey and whatever you want to wear,” he said. “It is a chance to hang out with these celebrity guests. You can listen to stories and it is a chance to buy auction items and silent auction items. For the live auction, we have some fantastic items available. There will be door prizes and raffle tickets. There is something for everyone.”
There are still tickets available for $100 and tables of eight available for $750.
He added they are currently working on an event new to this year.
“We are looking to have a community event at the Lacombe Centre Mall in the afternoon prior to the Gala. It is a chance for the community to come and meet and greet with the celebrities,” he said.