2016 Gala of Hope

From Regina Centre at Conexus Arts Center - Regina, Saskatchewan on 08/11/2016

On Nov 8th, 2016 the Canadian Progress Club Regina Center held its 29th Annual Gala of Hope Charity Dinner. This long standing fundraiser for our club has raised thousands of dollars in support of “Camp Circle of Friends”. With the fall season full of Gala’s and dinners we wanted our Gala to be something special so we took the opportunity to take an already successful event to a prestigious new venue. The Conexus Arts Center gave us what we were looking for, this year the theme was set in ”Prehistoric Times” , and our 500 guests were sitting in a virtual jungle surrounded by a T-Rex and other prehistoric animals.
But the highlight of this year’s dinner was by far our guest speaker. A 15 year old boy who has been battling cancer for over 6 years. Plagued by complications his young life has been full of challenges. Never before has he had to tell his story to strangers let alone a room of 500. Minutes before, he had serious doubts that he would be able to speak, but speak he did and there were no “dry” eyes in the audience.
As I write this article, this young man is back in hospital; our club toured the hospital and took the opportunity to stop in for a visit. How ironic is it that his attitude invigorates us in our commitment to the summer camp he hopes to enjoy this year.
We believe that summer camp is a rite of passage for all kids and a powerful healing experience for those who have been affected by Cancer. Kids need a time to get dirty and just be kids. Whether they’ve lost loved ones, or are sick themselves, CCOF is about letting kids be kids, to let them know life can go on with fun and hope. The camp offers state-of-the-art medical facilities as well as a full range of indoor and outdoor camp activities, including water sports.
A team of volunteer medical staff offers the reassurance that the professional help of doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers are on hand 24 hours a day to offer first aid or a shoulder to cry on.
Up to 75 campers age 6 to 18 from all over the province come to make friends and offer each other support. The camp has helped thousands of families experience some normality while battling cancer. The program remains strong thanks to the generosity and support of the many volunteers and the many sponsors who believe in what we at the Canadian Progress Club — Regina Center stand for in our community.
The support we received for this year’s Gala took us to a new record. We were please to present CCOF with $ 130,000.00.