Gala 2018: Enchanted Bamboo Garden
There are so many highlights from Imagine Gala 2018: Enchanted Bamboo Garden, it’s hard to even know where to begin!
Let’s start with the theme. As a special treat this year, we decided to keep the theme top secret, to surprise and amaze our guests as they stepped into the beautiful ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald! The ballroom was decorated in bamboo, bonsai, raw silk, and colours inspired by autumn in Japan, all put together so beautifully by Katherine Stavropoulous of Cleo Creative. It was magical!
As our guests stepped into the ballroom, they were greeted by the pounding beat of the Kita no Taiko Japanese drummers who received a standing ovation for their dynamic performance, which just added to the magic of the thematic reveal.
From there, we dined on a delicious meal prepared by the Fairmont culinary team, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Emcees Stacey Brotzel and Thomas Lukaszuk led the evening, once again gracing us with their presence and support. During dessert, we launched the popular Balloon Pop, where guests purchased and popped balloons for a chance to win one of two amazing prizes – diamond rings donated by Gold Star Jewellers and Paris Jewellers.
The auction was led by auctioneer Rob Christie, who did his best to calm a rowdy room to auction off so many amazing opportunities – an Oilers box courtesy of Arpi’s North, a Mexican getaway courtesy of Wendy and Bryan Burrell, a guided tour through Venice and Tuscany courtesy of Sorin Michailovici and the Spark Experience, a private dinner for 8 at home with Chef Stefan Cherwoniuk (and there was so much interest in this item, he gave away two!), and a 1982 Mercedes 380 SL Roadster donated by Berk and Heather Bilgen of Berk Bilgen Insurance Ltd.
Thank you to everyone who donated and who bid on these items, whose generosity will go so far in helping us keep Edmonton area children safe. Special thanks to Rich Groom of Vanta, who won the Balloon Pop ring prize from Paris Jewelers and then donated it back to the auction, and Colin Lywood who had the top bid on it! Colin is also the proud new owner of that gorgeous Mercedes Roadster.
After the auction, Rocky from Flaman Fitness challenged the rest of the guests to match his donation of $10,000 – and it only took thirty seconds for our amazing guests to meet his challenge!
We also had performance painter Lewis Lavoie in attendance, and whose painting of a beautiful bamboo garden was breathtaking!
Guests were further entertained by young singer Sofiya Chvojka who brought many to tears with her perfect rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and harpist Terry McDade, who played during the reception before guests entered the ballroom. Many of our guests enjoyed dancing to the Counterfitz, a perfect end to an amazing night!
Thank you to our dinner sponsors, Firma Foreign Exchange, Tony and Daniela Franceschini Family Fund at the Edmonton Community Foundation, and Arpi’s North, and our supporting sponsors Brookfield Residential, Cleo Creative and the Ben Sawatzky Foundation. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our auction, and to our committee, who worked so hard helping us put this event together.
Special thanks for the hair and make up students at MC College for showing up in the nick of time to make our staff look beautiful and for the volunteers from Deloitte for helping with set up!
There are so many more people who made this amazing even possible who we would remiss if we didn’t thank, including Melody Wilson of the reLife team at Remax Elite, who donated to the auction and brought together all of the generous donors who contributed to the Lucky 13 baskets, which she also assembled. We also need to thank JD Draw for helping with our multimedia presentations, and The Big Idea for her design work. Thank you as well to Amplomedia, for on-going digital support, and also putting together the amazing video about the Kottage. Thank you to our dear friends at Production World, for once again ensuring the audio/visual support was flawless.
And most of all, thank you to our guests for sharing this magical evening with us.
We couldn’t have done any of it without you.
Lucky 13 Basket Donors
Edmonton Casino Party
Unicon Concrete Specialties
Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
Edmonton Police Service
1st Round, Oliver Square
Bill Lucas, Amerispec
Billie Spasojevic, Pacesetter Homes
Set and Kelsey Castro
Conrad Bitancgol, REMAX Professionals
Devonian Botanical Garden
Eddy D'ambrosia, RE/MAX Elite
Heart of the Home
Jason Paul, RE/MAX Elite
Jill Dudas Photography
Kevin Doyle, RE/MAX Elite
K’s Baby Bowtique
Lindsay Hood Photography
Mel Simmons, REMAX Elite
Original Joe’s, Grange
ReLife Team, REMAX Elite
River Cree Hotel & Casino
Serge Bourgoin, EXP Realty
Steve Letendre, Admirable Inspections
Tight Assets Fitness