Starry night

Summerside Boys and Girls Club Celebrity din­ner brings in funds for youth pro­gram­ming

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY COLIN MACLEAN

Ac­tion fig­ure in hand, David Bob­bitt ful­filled a child­hood am­bi­tion Mon­day night.

Not only did Bob­bitt get to shake hands with Bru­tus “The Bar­ber” Beef­cake, he also took a selfie with him and got the renowned pro-wrestler to sign a minia­ture toy ver­sion of him­self.

It was great mo­ment, said Bob­bitt, who was all smiles af­ter the en­counter.

“They were my child­hood heroes grow­ing up when I was watch­ing WWF. It’s a dream come true,” he laughed.

There were hun­dreds of lit­tle mo­ments like that one Mon­day at Credit Union Place, as the 14th an­nual Summerside Boys and Girls Club Celebrity Din­ner Gala stretched into the evening.

Sport­ing greats like Dono­van Bai­ley, Bryan Trot­tier and Summerside’s own Heather Moyse, to name a few, were on hand to sign au­to­graphs, in­ter­act with fans and gen­er­ally help raise money for a good cause.

A few, like Bai­ley, were also called on to ad­dress the crowd.

Bai­ley, a re­tired sprinter, gold medal­ist and, at one point in the late 1990s, the fastest hu­man alive, was nurs­ing an in­jured leg for the event, which he said he’d hurt re­cently play­ing bas­ket­ball.

He apol­o­gized, to the amuse­ment of the crowd, for not be­ing able to take on all chal­lengers eager for a race.

He also thanked the Boys and Girls Club staff mem­bers for the work they do in the com­mu­nity. “My job is easy,” said Bai­ley. “It’s you and your team that ac­tu­ally do the work to make sure that our great­est com­modi­ties, which are our kids, grav­i­tate to pos­i­tive things and grow up to do in­cred­i­ble things.”

One of those fu­ture do­ers of some­thing in­cred­i­ble was Syd­ney Cameron, who was named Girl of the Year for the club this year.

It was a ti­tle she’s of­ten hoped for, she said.

“It seemed pretty cool, and a lot of peo­ple I knew got it. They were su­per ex­cited for it. It was pretty hon­ourable to get it,” she said.

Other hon­ours an­nounced in­cluded: Boy of the Year - Will Ram­say; Youth of the Year Vic­to­ria Bernard; and Vol­un­teer of the Year - Elaine Gaudet.

The an­nual celebrity din­ner is one of the largest fundrais­ing events the Summerside Boys and Girls Club holds an­nu­ally.

This year’s gala is be­lieved to have at­tracted a record num­ber of peo­ple. An of­fi­cial num­ber was not avail­able Mon­day evening, but es­ti­mates by or­ga­niz­ers put the crowd at more than 1,000.

COLIN MACLEAN/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

David Bob­bitt, left, gets an ac­tion fig­ure signed by one of his child­hood heroes, pro wrestler Bru­tus “The Bar­ber” Beef­cake, dur­ing the Summerside Boys and Girls Club’s 2017 Celebrity Din­ner Gala, Mon­day evening.

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