Din­ing with the stars

Celebrity fundraiser in Summerside fea­tures food, awards, laughs and im­pas­sioned speeches

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

It was a star-stud­ded night with a sole pur­pose - sup­port­ing the city’s youth.

The 12th an­nual Remax Har­bour­side Boys and Girls Club of Summerside Celebrity Din­ner Gala fea­tured a long list of sports stars that min­gled with sup­port­ers of the club, along with the youth who at­tend the fa­cil­ity, kick­ing off a busy two days of fundrais­ing for the club, with its an­nual Celebrity Golf Tour­na­ment on Tues­day.

Among the guest at­ten­dees were Summerside na­tives, two-time Olympic gold medal­ist Heather Moyse and Florida Pan­thers head coach Ger­ard “Turk” Gallant; hockey le­gends Guy Lafleur, Ray Bourque; WWE Hall of Fame mem­ber Tr­ish Stra­tus; and for­mer CFL football star, coach and speaker, Mike “Pin­ball” Cle­mons.

“As these young peo­ple grow, they de­serve our sup­port. Even when they are not at their best, they still de­serve our best. That’s what my mother taught me,” said Cle­mons, dur­ing his im­pas­sioned 20-minute long mo­ti­va­tional speech.

“Your kind­ness this evening tells our young peo­ple you love them just the way they are.”

Stra­tus, a first-time celebrity at­tendee, said the core val­ues be­hind the club is what at­tracted her to the event.

“It is the same sort of stan­dards that I fol­lowed to achieve suc­cess and most of my goals in the WWE... but also in my post-WWE ca­reer, go­ing out and achiev­ing suc­cess as an en­tre­pre­neur and in my new­est gig as a mom,” said Stra­tus, who chat­ted with club mem­bers prior to the din­ner. “I’m thrilled to be here.”

About 800 peo­ple at­tended the $50-a-plate din­ner, which was held in­side Credit Union Place’s East­link Arena Mon­day night.

The gala, the pro­ceeds of which go to the club’s Youth En­gage­ment Cen­tre, fea­tured en­ter­tain­ment from past club mem­ber and ris­ing coun­try mu­sic star, Trin­ity Brad­shaw, and Mar­itime Idol win­ner Tay­lor Sonier.

Ge­orge Matthews, the evening’s em­cee, also held a quick ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion with Lafleur and Bourque from the stage.

A long list of awards and recog­ni­tions were handed out through­out the evening, in­clud­ing the club’s Vol­un­teer of the Year award, given to Shirley Doucette, and the Boy and Girl of the Year awards, awarded to Evan Hume and Reghan Betts.

Rachel Berry was named the club’s Youth of the Year, while auc­tion­eer Al­li­son Smith re­ceived the Com­mu­nity Hero, an “un­sung hero,” who has helped raise “mil­lions” for the Is­land com­mu­nity.

Schol­ar­ships were also given out, with a $1,000 Gold Rush schol­ar­ship awarded to Sa­man­tha Harris, and the Mel Camp­bell Key­stone schol­ar­ship given to Blin­era Musli.

NANCY MACPHEE/TC MEDIA

Mike “Pin­ball” Cle­mons gives a mo­ti­va­tional speech as hockey leg­end Guy Lafleur looks on. Both were spe­cial guests at the 12th an­nual Boys and Girls Club of Summerside Celebrity Din­ner Mon­day night.

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