Dining with the stars
Celebrity fundraiser in Summerside features food, awards, laughs and impassioned speeches
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.
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.