Monday, December 4, 2023

Travel first class at Bonnyville Health Foundation’s 24th annual gala

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Anyone wanting to secure tickets the Bonnyville Health Foundation’s 24th annual gala will need to mark their calendar for Dec. 2, as there will be no presale or reservations this year.

BONNYVILLE – Experience the Golden Age of Travel at Bonnyville Health Foundation’s 24th annual gala – when all travel was first class. 

Travelling back in time, as well as around the world, the health foundation’s vintage, first-class event will be reminiscent of the exhilarating expanse of world travel experienced in the 1950s to 1960s.  

This formal affair will take guests on Flight #24 Around the World on April 13, 2024, embracing different cultures, cuisines and wines from around the globe. 

With several elements of surprise set to take place at the 24th annual gala – it’s an event you won’t want to miss. 

Anyone wanting to attend the gala will need to mark their calendar for Dec. 2, as there will be no presale or reservations this year. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first- served basis and must be picked up in person when the doors open for the Festival of Trees being held at Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre (C2) at 10 a.m. on Dec. 2. 

“Because we are also reducing our ticket sales this year, we just know that the demand is going to be high. So, we had to do something to make it fair for everyone – and that was to open up sales all at the same time,” explained Dawn Weber, executive director of the Bonnyville Health Foundation. 

“I encourage people to come as close to that 10 a.m. mark on Saturday as possible because last year we did sell out within 15 minutes.” 

RELATED STORY: Festival of Trees brightens spirits with new event 

The number of tickets to attend the event will drop by 200 compared to last year’s gala. A total of 500 tickets will be up for grabs. 

The cost of tickets for the highly anticipated event will remain the same as last year at $125 per ticket, $1,000 for an eight-person table, and $1,250 for a 10-person table.  

A debit machine will be on site for Visa, Mastercard, e-transfer and debit payments. Corporate invoices can also be issued on site to recognized companies, noted Weber. 

Supporting great healthcare 

Last year’s gala, A Night in Emerald City, raised a record-breaking total of over $428,000 for local health initiatives. 

Funds raised by the Bonnyville Health Foundation go towards five different initiatives under the foundation’s umbrella: Area of Greatest Need, Bonnyville Community Cancer Clinic, Long Term Care, Palliative Care and Local Mental Health Initiatives. 

RELATED STORY: ‘A Night in Emerald City’ marks Bonnyville Health Foundation’s most successful gala to date 

“We want to see those areas continue to transform and enhance in our hospital. We know we haven’t peaked yet,” Weber told Lakeland This Week

Every year in June, the Bonnyville hospital provides the foundation with a wish list of items that will help transform good healthcare into great healthcare. 

The 2023 wish list provided to the foundation had a total funding request of $282,500, allowing all wish list items to be approved and purchased.  

“It felt really good to be able to not have to look at the budget as carefully as we normally would,” Weber said.  

“We hope that moving forward, the hospital will give us a wish list that’s even bigger than our scope of what we can afford because it gives us an idea of where all the needs are and what we need to do in the future.” 

Embracing travel 

“We did a really fantastic job last year of showcasing all the different funds that we care for and making sure that everyone left knowing what the foundation does for our community. This year we can focus a little bit more on just loosening up and having a lot of fun,” said Weber. 

After a significant stretch of travel bans and restrictions caused by the pandemic, gala organizers noticed fierce competition to win vacations in last year’s auctions. This sparked the idea for the upcoming gala’s travel theme. 

With the travel bug continuing to spread, organizers have made it possible for absolutely anyone in the room to take home a travel package this year whether through the live auction, silent auction or the foundation’s expanding online auction. 

The online auction, which is available to the wider public, will open for bidding at the start of the gala and will continue into Sunday. This will give more people the opportunity to bid and win their own vacation packages while supporting the Bonnyville hospital. 

“We’ve also really opened up our partnership opportunity package for sponsors. We’ve created more opportunities to have titled sponsorship so that our partners in this event can really feel the impact that their investment is going to make in the event,” noted Weber. 

“Anytime a company gives us money to put an event like this together, we want to make sure that we’re taking their investment and turning it into even more so that what they give us inspires the community to give more that night.” 

To partner, sponsor or donate to the 24th annual Bonnyville Health Foundation gala, contact the foundation by email at [email protected] or by phone at 780-201-3079. 

“We have high hopes for this event to be another record breaker year for us,” Weber said. 

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