By Ellie Smith, Co-Chair of Wood’s Homes Never Give Up Gala
What do you get when you cross fantastic East Coast seafood with West Coast hospitality? A Wood’s Homes fundraiser to remember. This June marked the first annual Wood’s Lobsterfest- as co-chairs of the 2016 Never Give Up Gala, Kata Acheson and I wanted to plan an event with a twist on traditional fundraising geared at bringing together both new and long-time supporters in Calgary.
Lobsters were flown in from Prince Edward Island on the day of the party to ensure that each guest got an authentic taste of what the Atlantic Coast has to offer. Our Malpeque Oyster shucker was kept busy all night and the champagne was flowing until well after the sun went down.
An announcement was made before the lobster was served (cold, of course!) to talk about Wood’s Homes and the important work they do. Stories were shared amongst guests of their own experiences with the organization, and we also made special mention of the devastating fires that were tearing through Alberta (Wood’s Homes Stepping Stones program in Fort McMurray was evacuated along with the rest of the city – you can read more about their experience, too!).
Then, the kitchen party began. Lobster claws were flying, butter was dripping, vinegar was sloshing and lips were smacking. The last guest left hours after midnight and, as each person grabbed their coat and toasted the fellowship of the evening, they were also more than happy to grab their wallets and support a great cause.
In all, Kata and I are proud to say we raised several thousand dollars that evening, confirmed more guests to join us at the Never Give Up Gala and are already getting ready for next year’s feast. So, to those who joined us at Lobsterfest 2016, see you next year. And, for those who may have missed out, get your bibs ready for June 2017!
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!