The Big Country Shrine Club hosted a buffet/dinner and auction fundraiser at the 100 Mile Community Hall on April 12 and it was a huge success – not only in terms of being a great community event, but it was also financially successful.
Some 190 people got their fill of crab, prime rib and all of the fixings cooked by the Red Rock Grill. Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s leadership group members did a fine job of serving at the buffet line and clearing tables.
The local Shrine club raised more than $15,000 through the tickets sales, the 50/50 and bucket draws, and the silent and live auctions.
Club president Frank Dobbs said the inaugural fundraiser turned out to be an “absolutely phenomenal” event.
“Our goal was $15,000 and we went way past our goal. We haven’t finished our accounting yet, but it went way in excess of [$15,000].”
The proceeds will go to the Shriner Patient Transport Fund and the local South Cariboo Health Foundation (SCHF).
Dobbs explained club secretary-treasurer Dan Bergen is making sure all of the expenses are paid off and then the Big Country Shrine Club will be making a cheque out to the SCHF.
Bergen said vice-president Glen Clancy was the driving force for everything.
“Glen was the ramrod for the dinner and did the lion’s share of the donations, corporate sponsorship and that sort of stuff.”
Noting it took a bit of time to nail down a date, Clancy said once that was done, it took about four months to pull the fundraiser together, with most of the work being done in the month prior the event.
He was extremely happy with the way everything went.
“One of the guys said, ‘if we did such and such’, we would hit a home run. After the event, he said, ‘it looks like we got a grand slam’. It went so good.”
There was more than $20,000 worth of donations for the auction, Dobbs said.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett was the auctioneer for the evening and she kept the bidding moving along quickly. The former 100 Mile House mayor did a remarkable job of getting top dollar for each of the items.
The pace was set early when she bumped the price of six homemade pies (one a month for six months) up to $300.
Dobbs said his wife, Vivian, bought the pies that were made by Louise Bergen, and told him, “nobody else was going to get those pies.”
Noting there may be a bit of tweaking and massaging, Dobbs said the Big Country Shrine Club will hold another dinner/auction next year because of the great comments they heard this year.
“The positive comments were about the atmosphere being warm, friendly and happy, and the food was awesome,” said Bergen.
“People liked the diversity of our auction items, as there was something for folks who make $200,000 a year and something for folks who make $20,000 a year. So people were happy and were able to have a good time, and that’s the way we wanted it to be.”
Bruce Barker, who is the Potentate for all Shriners in British Columbia and the Yukon, travelled from Penticton to be the guest speaker at the dinner.
He talked about the Shriners five Care Cruisers, which serve more than 100 towns and cities throughout B.C. – including the Interior, Okanagan, Kootenays and Vancouver Island. All of the buses are wheelchair lift-equipped, and some are capable of accommodating stretchers.
One of the buses was parked outside of the 100 Mile Community and folks got to tour the bus that had all of the amenities for a comfortable ride for the patients.
Barker noted any B.C. children who are receiving treatment at any Shriners Hospitals for Children, BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Hospital are eligible to travel for free. Their parents and/or caregivers also travel without cost.
Dobbs said the Shriners are currently looking after 600 patients in the B.C., including 35 children in the South Cariboo.
For more information about the B.C./Yukon Shriners Care Cruiser Program, call 1-800-661-KIDS (5437) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or e-mail the Shrine travel co-ordinator at email@example.com.