November hospice gala rekindles the glitz with ‘winter wonderland’

Tickets are still available for the November Night gala – the biggest fund raising event of the year for the Chilliwack Hospice Society

Winter wonderland is the theme for this year's November Nights Gala

Chilliwack Hospice’s gala event has undergone a massive makeover.

Once the event of the year for Chilliwack, the November Night Gala had grown a little stale in the last couple years. It needed a new face.

Joldee Hayes, event organizer, is sure this year’s event, on Nov. 2, will bring November Night back to its previous sparkle.

Or better.

“It’s going to be an awesome event,” said Hayes. “I’m super excited for it.”

It hasn’t been easy.

In years past, the gala had taken nearly a full year of planning and organizing to pull off. But Hayes only came into the mix in August, filling a position that had been vacant for months.

“My first four to five weeks was solely focused on sponsorship because we had none,” Hayes said. “It hasn’t been an easy feat. Basically, I hit the ground running.”

This year’s gala will be held at the new Squiala Hall on Squiala Road. The road will be lit up by a row of football players, from the G.W. Graham Grizzlies squad, lighting the path with lanterns to the “winter wonderland” inside the hall.

“My thought, when we were deciding on a theme, was to have a Quebec Winter Carnival feel,” said Hayes.

There’s going to be snow, bright lights, bright colours, and circus style acrobatics performed by Blink Acrobatics. There’s going to be a live auction, a silent auction, and a raffle too. And the evening’s meal will be courtesy of Restaurant 62, a fine dining establishment in Abbotsford.

What there won’t be is a dance.

“Not too many people dance anymore it seems,” said Hayes. “Last year, the band only played for a half an hour and that was it, there were not enough people to warrant them staying and they packed it in. It was felt that the band would start and people would basically leave. The music was too loud, people couldn’t talk, they wanted to socialize.”

And so, instead, they’ll be filling that vacancy with loads more entertainment, some of which Hayes said had to stay top secret until the doors of the evening open.

“It’s going to be quite lively,” she said.

November Night is the Chilliwack Hospice Society’s top fundraiser of the year, with funds going towards programs, like grief counseling, that aren’t typically government funded.

“It’s an amazing charity to support,” said Hayes. “The one thing in life that’s inevitable is death. It’s going to touch and impact people at some point in their lives.”

Another new element this year is the raffle. Anyone who purchases a ticket is not required to attend the event.

Raffle prizes include a total bedroom makeover, worth over $8,000; a return flight for two from Vancouver to Victoria with Helijet valued at $1,000; and a one-night stay in the Lakeview guest room at Harrison Hot Springs, including a dinner in The Copper Room, breakfast and a couple’s massage, valued at $500.

Raffle tickets are being sold until Oct. 30 at the Hospice Society on Hodgins Ave., Thrifty Boutique on Luckakuck Way, and the Bedroom Gallery on Wellington Ave. for $20 each or three for $50.

The draw will take place at the gala at 10 p.m.

The gala is on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.. Tickets are $150, also sold at the Hospice Society and Thrifty Boutique.

For more information call 604-795-4660.

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