AdaptAbilities has been a hidden gem in the Edmonton community for over a decade - but not for long! On April 14th of this year, over 200 guests and volunteers attended our Annual Fun-Raiser Charity Dinner at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel to raise funds and awareness for the one-of-a-kind programs and services AdaptAbilities provides.
This annual event, presented by Dorward & Company, raised $40,000 net towards sending children to our Hearts In Action Camps - that’s 80 children who will have the opportunity to successfully experience camp this summer!
Seanna Collins did an amazing job entertaining guests as our Emcee again this year, and there was much gratitude for the support from MLA Jon Carson (Edmonton-Meadowlark) and Councillor Mike Nickel (Ward 11) who brought greetings on behalf of The Government of Alberta and The City of Edmonton, respectively. Honorary Chair, Elexis Schloss, was also in attendance, and we were honoured to have the folks from Galas & Giving covering our event!
Sean Sonego moved the crowd with his musical talents throughout the evening - participant Jamal started the wave during Sonego’s performance of “Have a Little Faith in Me”, and the room was out of their seats, dancing in the aisles. Guests also had the opportunity to let their inner-child out in our Inclusive Kids Zone and Flashworks Photobooth. In addition to all of that, a lively round of our signature Heads and Tails game was played, and winner Joe Patrouch took home a signed Connor McDavid print, donated by Earl Shindruk.
Event goers were surprised with a live auction that raised $2400. The highest bidders scored themselves admission into the biggest sports collectables show in Western Canada, The Summit Show, organized and auctioneered by Marcel Eden. The auction prizes included an autographed picture, meet and greet with all eight celebrity signers, one autographed jersey of their choice and dinner with Glenn Andersen! To top it all off, our world-class silent auction - featuring a 7-day stay at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel, unrestricted air fare from WestJet, a weekend in Jasper, and weekend Lexus rental – raised $11,500; our infamous Booze Table Raffle, which is donated entirely by AdaptAbilities Staff, brought in over $2000 – our biggest yet!
Founder and Executive Director, Michelle Hordal, shared her moving story of how she came to work in the Disability Sector, and the growth and success of AdaptAbilities to date. She also made some exciting announcements about the future of AdaptAbilities - including the unveiling of our new logo, the launch of our new promotional video (see below), and the opening of our new head office space on Whyte Avenue set for late summer!
The real showstopper of the evening, however, was hearing from Deborah Harmacy, caregiver to one of our Hearts In Action (HIA) Camp goers, Ryder. Deborah shared 6-year-old Ryder’s struggles in finding a summer program where he could successfully experience the activities and belong. She shared that HIA Camps made that possible; staff were able to separate Ryder's conditions and behaviours from the fun, caring, loving boy that he really is, and the peace of mind she had knowing that he was being successfully supported in a safe and structured environment, gave her time to tend to life’s necessities. Most importantly - Ryder was given the chance to be like every other kid.
A special thank you goes out to all our amazing volunteers and generous sponsors for the evening listed with their logos below, to our Fun-Raiser flower supplier, Bunches for donating the beautiful thank you bouquets for our guest speakers, and to the renowned Robert Bray for matching child to camp donations by giving away over $11,000 in portrait sessions!
With the momentum gained from this event, we look forward to the years to come, as we grow within our community, building capacity better supporting those who hire us in recognizing their goals, and in celebrating success - for life.
Don’t miss our next Inclusive KidsZone at the upcoming Porkapalooza event on Father’s Day weekend, June 17th - 19th, at Clark Stadium. For details as they unfold, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our monthly newsletter.