The Ponoka Victim Services gala was a huge success raising $7,400. The event was held at Wolf Creek Golf Resort on April 26 with approximately 150 people in attendance to the group’s first fundraiser gala.
“It was awesome, it was a great event, I love to see the community come out and support us. I have heard nothing but positive and everyone has said they want it as an annual event,” said Karie Ackermann the executive director for the Ponoka Victim Services Unit (PVSU)
The Ponoka RCMP members were out to support the PVSU and all of the members in attendance wore their official red serge uniforms. The evening was a very elegant occasion with everyone dressing up in their best outfits for the night out.
During the evening there was the opportunity to have your picture taken with the RCMP dressed in the ceremonial uniforms. The photo session raised $225.
“It’s nice to see people wanting to have their pictures with the RCMP, how often do you get to take a picture with the RCMP in their serge? The pictures went off very well,” said Ackermann.
Cpl. Jim Lank was very happy with the turnout of the evening. For a first year he thought that everything went off really well.
“To me it was PVSU night, this is what we do and what we get paid to do in our everyday jobs, victim services advocates are volunteers and they give up their personal time to provide this service what they do is invaluable,” said Lank. “I think that this is the only formal recognition that they get. I think even if it was not a fundraiser I think it was a great thing to have to recognize what the advocates do in the community, just for that I think it was so worth it.”
He thought that the atmosphere was really nice adding to a really enjoyable evening for everyone.
The evening also included a live auction with 12 items up for sale including an autographed Cam Ward jersey, artwork, a quilt, a weekend trip and a mix master. The live auction raised $6,250.
Also rounding out the evening was a performance by the Flat Iron Jazz band who entertained the crowd with some swinging good music. The crowd enjoyed the music as many made their way on to the dance floor two stepping away.
PVSU is funded through grants but requires extra funds to run the program in the community. They are the link between the victims of crimes and the justice system. The advocates, who are all volunteers, are on call 24/7 and all put in a great deal of hours.
Both Lank and Ackermann said that all of the feedback that they have received has been very positive and they hope to do it again next year.