All gussied up in their finest, approximately 200 of Ponoka’s town and county residents attended the annual Victim Services Gala with open hearts and wallets ready to keep the instrumental organization in top shape to aid victims within the community.
This year’s gala ran on a new, experimental format of a wine tasting with small food stations accompanying, rather than a heavy sit down dinner.
Organizer Francine Lefebvre says this year was less about the actual fundraiser and more about Victim Services putting its face out into the community and building relationships. “The reason we didn’t do supper is because we wanted people to mingle, build PR (public relations) and network.”
An entertaining evening of wine and mingling was mixed in with great food, mood lighting and dueling pianos to give the people of Ponoka a night on the town.
Goody bags full of gift cards from local businesses were also being sold for $20 each, “to promote growth in the local community and to pay it forward to the businesses that always help us,” Lefebvre explained.
The gift bags were sold out within an hour and a half, raising just over $1,700. “People who buy the gift bags get their monies worth, 100 per cent of the proceeds go to Victim Services and the community gets growth. It’s a win, win, win,” said Lefebvre.
Profits from tickets, a photography station, musical requests and a silent auction also added to the proceeds of the event
Board chair Lisa Barrett says Victim Services was originally established to support the RCMP — which they still do — but now the organization also works closely with the Ponoka General Hospital and Care Centre.
“We can call them directly if we think there’s people who could use their services,” said Barrett, who is also a manager at the hospital.