Sunday, 04 January 2015 15:11

Snowflake Soirée fundraiser continues to gain popularity

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The Snowflake Soirée in Medicine Hat sounds like a fun evening and it is as it heads into its third year, but it also has a serious and important goal behind it.

The 3rd Annual Soirée, presented by the Community View Lions Club Jan. 30, will have all of the proceeds to support programs and services of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Southeast Region in Medicine Hat.

Susan Hayward, executive director and Cori Fischer, programs manager/mental health educator for the CMHA, say they know there are a lot of worthy causes which could be supported.

"We're competing with every non-profit out there," explains Hayward. "We are tasked with diversifying on how we relay fundraising efforts."

Hayward says they have had to battle stigma issues in the past that if one supports mental health awareness, it is somewhat reflective on that person and that mental illness is a negative condition.

Mental illness is a medical issue just like any other problem such as heart or lung disease.

"We're making huge progress with the Soirée," says Hayward, who remembers the first one did very well with talented Medicine Hat magician and entertainer Trevor Moore.

Because of the strong first event, it helped make a solid second event last year. This year is building on the popularity of the first two.

This year, Hayward is expecting to have two and half times the amount of people attend as who were there in 2013. As well, donations for the silent and live auctions are going well, but they can always use more.

Plus, they have a title sponsor and other sponsorship opportunities which will bring in $13,000.

"People are approaching us (way in advance) about getting tickets," adds Hayward.

The Soirée will take place Jan, 30 featuring well-known comedian Brian Stollery in the Wild Rose Room of Higdon Hall. Cocktails are at 6 p.m.; supper is at 7 p.m. Entertainment and auction to follow. Tickets $60.

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Ryan Dahlman

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