Foun­da­tion of Hope Gala an emo­tional evening

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The fourth an­nual Foun­da­tion of Hope Gala made an $60,000 dif­fer­ence for the eight bene­fac­tors cho­sen to re­ceive funds through the Swift Cur­rent United Way fundraiser.

Stacey Schwartz, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Swift Cur­rent United Way, was pleased with the suc­cess of the Gala which had Pat­ti­son Agri­cul­ture and Stan­dard Mo­tors as pre­sent­ing spon­sors.

“I thought it went re­ally well,” Schwartz ex­plained. “By this point I think there’s more of a buzz about it be­cause peo­ple are start­ing to hear about it.”

Satur­day’s nights fundraiser tar­geted rais­ing funds for Cana­dian Na­tional In­sti­tute for the Blind, Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion, Fam­ily Re­source Cen­tre, Sask­a­bil­i­ties, SCCYI The Cen­ter, South­west Cri­sis Ser­vices, South­west Homes, and United Way Ac­tive Play.

She ap­pre­ci­ated the com­mu­nity’s gen­eros­ity for the fundraiser, as the ini­tia­tive im­pacts mul­ti­ple or­ga­ni­za­tions in the com­mu­nity and helps the re­cip­i­ents of­fer pro­grams that di­rectly im­pact vul­ner­a­ble sec­tors in the com­mu­nity.

The evening also fea­tured the un­veil­ing of a doc­u­men­tary telling the story of a lo­cal fam­ily’s strug­gle with ad­dic­tions. Mikaela Mamer, and her par­ents Roxanne and Lee, were fea­tured in this im­pact­ful doc­u­men­tary which ex­posed the raw truths and fright­en­ing re­al­i­ties of bat­tling the dis­ease of ad­dic­tion.

Schwartz said these im­pact­ful doc­u­men­taries help raise the so­cial aware­ness around dif­fer­ent so­cial is­sues that ef­fect fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity.

“I think the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor that we’ve found is that it re­ally does open the door for oth­ers to feel like they can share, and to not feel alone. It re­ally does start to shift the stigma and iso­la­tion around var­i­ous so­cial is­sues that im­pact us. And it al­lows the com­mu­nity to re­ally have that com­mu­nity feel.”

The evening also stressed the im­por­tance of be­ing re­spon­sive to the needs within the com­mu­nity, and the newly in­tro­duced 211 ser­vice will al­low the United Way to re­act quicker to ar­eas of im­por­tance to the re­gion.

“It’s our hope and we’re op­ti­mistic about hav­ing 211,” she said. “I am re­ally op­ti­mistic of the po­ten­tial of how this prod­uct is go­ing to be able to start to help meet the needs of the com­mu­nity in a very unique, non bi­ased way.”

“It’s go­ing to help down the road in re­ally al­lo­cat­ing donor dol­lars to where it needs to go. I think these tools are go­ing to be an as­set within our com­mu­nity and within the United Way, and even I think a lot of other or­ga­ni­za­tions are go­ing to ben­e­fit from that United Way prod­uct of 211 Saskatchewan of be­ing able to also find out re­ally what the needs are in South­west Saskatchewan and act ac­cord­ingly for what works best.”

Schwartz felt that the four year suc­cess of the Gala is an indi­ca­tion that the com­mu­nity un­der­stands the im­por­tance of the event.

“It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see that peo­ple are start­ing to see value of hav­ing a fundraiser like this, a com­mu­nity fundraiser that im­pacts mul­ti­ple or­ga­ni­za­tions in one night. So I think it’ll have im­pact to carry it for­ward.”

SCOTT AN­DER­SON/SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The 2018 Foun­da­tion of Hope Gala raised $60,000 for the eight bene­fac­tors cho­sen to re­ceive funds through this Swift Cur­rent United Way fundraiser.

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