For Woodland Jewellers donating a diamond ring valued at almost $10,000 to raise funds for a new digital mammography unit for Cariboo Memorial Hospital is just another way this long-time lakecity business gives back to the community.
“This is our donation to the community,” says co-owner Cindy Watt. “It started with our 75th anniversary ring as a way to give back to the community which has supported us for 78 years now.”
The $9,500 ring was designed and made by Geoff Bourdon, who was re-elected to his second term on city council Saturday.
Bourdon is the third generation of his family to serve on municipal council and a fourth generation member of the Woodland Jewellers family business and a jeweller and designer in his own right.
The ring is created with an 18-karat gold setting holding five large natural fancy light yellow diamonds of various sizes and cuts, accented with small white diamonds, for a total weight of 1.36 carats in diamonds.
Bourdon says he thought about a theme and concept for the ring, then went to several sources to find just the right diamonds for the free-form design he created.
“The theme is ‘all shapes and sizes’ because that’s how cancer affects us,” Bourdon says.
The five main diamonds are five different sizes, cuts and shapes — marquise, oval, pear, modified square, and round brilliant.
Bourdon chose the natural fancy light yellow coloured diamonds because yellow is the Canadian Cancer Society’s signature colour for its Daffodil Campaign and funds raised this year by the diamond raffle will go toward purchasing a new high-tech digital mammography unit for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
Only 600 tickets are available for raffle at $20 a piece. As of today less than 75 tickets are still available but they won’t be long. If all 600 tickets are sold, the ring alone will raise $12,000 for the new digital mammography machine for the hospital.
If there are any tickets on the ring left (they traditionally sell out early) they are available at Woodland Jewellers and possibly at the gala Saturday.
The draw for the ring will be made this Saturday evening during the 2011 Formal Christmas Gala taking place at Thompson Rivers University.
The fourth annual gala is a joint project this year between the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust and the Hough Memorial Cancer Society, says hospital trust co-chair Rick Nelson.
As of Wednesday afternoon, only about 30 of the 280 tickets were still available for the gala.
In addition to the diamond draw, the fundraiser includes an $80-a-plate formal dinner, dancing to the band March Hare (complete with entertaining costume changes), as well as live and silent auctions and a tree decorating sale.
The theme this year is An Old Fashioned Christmas.
The dinner, catered by the Overlander, includes entree choices of prime rib of beef with yorkshire pudding; baked Virginia ham; seafood lasagna; sliced turkey with savory dressing; or barbecue ribs. Side dishes will include a variety of salads, vegetables, rice pilaf, various styles of potatoes, cold cuts, and, of course, desserts.
“I will be starving myself all day,” Nelson says. “It will be a fun evening. People who have attended before have enjoyed it.”
He says the dream live auction includes airfare and a one-week stay at a luxury condo in Scottsdale, Arizona; a Reva Schick doll; a large-screen plasma television; a one-week stay at a cabin on Horsefly Lake; a barbecue and other items.
Nelson says about 50 silent auction items have also been generously donated by local businesses.
As part of the fundraising efforts 12 Christmas trees are being sold at $100 each to local businesses to decorate and place in the TRU gymnasium for the evening.
Nelson says the event organizers are also partnering on decorations with Antiques on Sixth from Prince George which is having an antique sale in the TRU lobby from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon and will have some antiques decorating the gym for the gala’s old fashioned Christmas theme in the evening.
He says Antiques on Sixth is donating 10 per cent of any items sold as a result of the gala for the hospitals new digital mammography machine.
Nelson says the event committee has also sought assistance from the community to cover the cost of the food and band so that as much of the money raised as possible will go toward purchasing the new mammography unit.
Nelson says the community has been very generous with this support donating about $7,000 toward expenses.
“The community support has been fabulous,” Nelson says.
The new digital mammography machine will cost about $1 million of which the community must raise $600,000.
If all goes well, Nelson says they are hoping to raise $30,000 on the gala for the project.
Some gala tickets may still be available by calling Joy Hennig at 250-398-0101 at Re/Max or Tammy Tugnum at 250-392-7185 at Cariboo GM.