The 5th Annual Lighting up Lives Gala proved to be an inspirational evening for all in attendance as attendees enjoyed live performances by four wish recipients whose wishes were inspired by their love of the performing arts. Amy, Josh, David and Savannah took centre stage and offered guests a glimpse into just how deeply their wishes have impacted them and their families. This year's theme of Living the Dream was chosen to showcase how these wish recipients, depsite their circumstances, wanted nothing more than to follow their hearts and further fuel their passion, and it was there wishes that allowed them to do so.
Emcee Dave Kelly led the evening's program, which in addition to performances and interviews with the wish recipients, also included debuting a new wish film. Guests were treated to a raffle and silent auction and for the first time two items were offered in an online auction, significantly boosting funds raised at the event. Thanks to event sponsorship and outstanding donor support, the 2012 Lighting up Lives Gala raised a total of $205,000, enough to grant 20 wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
Chapter Director Jason Evanson and board chair Sylvia McConnell also took the opportunity to recognize key groups and individuals who have made significant contributions to the AB & NWT Chapter. Congratulations to the 2011/2012 award recipients:
Tom Capital Philanthropy Award Recipient: Strike Energy
Terri Hall Memorial Award Recipient: Jim Kapeluck
Roary's Pride Inductees: ATCO EPIC, the Luxus Group, Edmonton Civic Employee Charitable Assistance Fund (ECECAF), and the Richard John Evans Memorial Golf Tournament
Merit Awards Recipients: Dave Carter, Rod Wick, the Killam Family, the Chamberlain Family, Alberta Wish Trail Ride, Drug Runners, the Luxus Group, and the Edmonton Civic Employee Charitable Assistance Fund (ECECAF)
A special thank you is also extended to Honourary Co-Chairs Mr. Jim Dinning & Ms. Evelyn Main and Honourary Co-Chair and wish recipient Savannah Watson in addition to our gala patrons:
Mr. Bob Hamilton & Mrs. Julie Hamilton
Mr. Brian MacNeill & Mrs. Brenda MacNeill
Mr. Ed McNally & Mrs. Linda McNally
Mr. Michael Casey & Ms. Brenda Armitage
Mr. Brian Felesky & Mrs. Stephanie Felesky
Mr. John Brannan & Mrs. Beth Brannan
Thank you as well to our Gala Committee Chair Matt Epp and this year's outstanding Gala committee, as well as day of volunteers who helped make this year’s gala such a success.
Spring is often considered a season of transformation. Just as the winter solstice marks the return of light into our days, a wish come true helps children and their families emerge from the darkness wrought by devastating illness. Your support has a profound impact—brighter days rekindle hope. Together we are lighting up lives!