Calgary Herald


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I find great inspiratio­n, and comfort, from youth who overcome adversity. And inspiratio­n was the resounding message at Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) 20 Years of Miracles Gala Benefit Dinner held May 31 at the Telus Convention Centre. When a young person walks through the doors of AARC, they are desperate, downtrodde­n, defeated — and addicted to drugs or alcohol, or both.

Yet there is hope. For the past 20 years, AARC has graduated 481 adolescent­s along with more than 1,600 family members. And the outstandin­g success of the 20 Years of Miracles gala benefit ensures AARC graduates and their families can look forward to meaningful lives full of purpose and joy.

That more than $1.4 million was raised this night is miraculous indeed. This ranks the AARC benefit as one of the most successful fundraisin­g events in the city. Such success is thanks to the tireless efforts of AARC staff, the gala volunteer committee, sponsors, donors and guests who attended the inspiratio­nal dinner. Kudos to presenting sponsor Remington Developmen­t Corp., which has been the exclusive title sponsor since Day 1. Other corporatio­ns stepping up to the plate include Corus Entertainm­ent, Vermilion Energy, Flint Energy Services, Parallel Energy Trust, Saw Communicat­ions and Canoe Financial, to name but a few.

Hearing AARC graduates Jessica D., Jennifer T., Trayce S. and Keegan E. share their stories of despair and eventual hope left many in the audience visibly moved. Emcee and interviewe­r Dave Kelly did, as always, as superb job as did special guests W. Brett Wilson and NHL great Martin Gelinas.

Others in attendance included: AARC board chair Ann McCaig and her daughter Jane McCaig with her husband, Rich Waller, with their daughter, Emma Waller; AARC executive director Dean Vause and his wife, Joanne; AARC clinical directors Natalie Imbach and Colin Brown; Haskayne School of Business professor Robert Schulz with Chinese National Petroleum Corporatio­n’s Margaret Jia; Albi Homes’ Tom and Debra Mauro; Pat and Sherrold Moore; Kathy Hays; Dianne Mosher and Livello’s Michael Giles; Child Advocacy Centre’s Tara Robinson and Leah Murray; Remington Developmen­t’s Randy Remington with his wife, Donna, and their son, Ryan Remington, colleagues Jamie Cooper and his wife, Lisa Cooper, and Cody Clayton with his wife, Tara; Olympian Michelle Cameron Coulter and her son Spencer Coulter; Bill and Nancy Andrew (and here, I must salute this wonderful couple on their outstandin­g support of AARC); Sam Switzer; Brookfield Properties’ Ian Parker and Sheldon Vetter; YWCA CEO Sue Tomney; Dick and Lois Haskayne; Safe Haven Foundation founders John and Karen Sherbut; Heritage Park CEO Alida Visbach and her husband, Paul Corbett of Stair Shoppe; Ron and Rosalie Belsher; Trimac’s Jeff McCaig and his wife, Marilyn McCaig; WestJet board chair Clive Beddoe and his wife, Ruth; AARC board member Jan Brenneman and her husband, Ron; and Calgary Herald publisher Guy Huntingfor­d and his wife, Riina.

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