Skip to content

PHOTOS: Cariboo Memorial Foundation fundraiser gala draws a wild card crowd

A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme draws out the Queen of Hearts and some white rabbits too

The Cariboo Memorial Hospital Foundation gala fundraiser on Nov. 5, 2022 was buzzing with the frenetic energy of a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party — or perhaps just the pent up post-pandemic energy of 250 people.

Despite a blown breaker and a last minute change of MCs, most people in the room would likely have not even noticed anything had gone amiss.

The fundraiser appeared to be a resounding success as the major event for Williams Lake returned after being sidetracked by the pandemic. It was sold out a month in advance, and the energy was palpable, with the crowd in great spirits.

“People are so excited to be out again and doing something,” said Tammy Tugnum, a director with the hospital foundation, noting how even though the numbers of patrons at the event were the same, it felt far busier than in previous years.

She said the foundation is extremely grateful for the community support they have had over the many years, and they are closing in on four million dollars in funds raised thanks to the partnership they have with the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital Board (CCRHB). It is because of this partnership, for every one dollar donated, it adds up to $1.40 in total as the CCRHB contributes 40 per cent in matching funds.

The Sacred Heart Hall was transformed with cards and lights into the festive space fit for the Queen of Hearts.

“We decorated for two days, it’s the most we’ve ever decorated, but we just knew we had to come back with a bang,” she said of the return of the event post-Covid.

Despite the last-minute adjustment required when the planned master-of-ceremonies Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson was unable to make it, Jason Ryll stepped in to fill his shoes seamlessly.

The beautifully-catered meal including prime rib, mussels, and delightfully-displayed desserts was catered by CJ’s Southwestern Grill and the bar service was provided by the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club.

A live auction drew generous bidding from the floor and the Woodland Jewellers ring raffle for the one-of-a-kind designer ring by Geoff Bourdon valued at $7,800 was drawn live at 9 p.m.

The winner of the ring raffle was Katie Camenzind.

Following the raffle and live auction was dancing to the music of March Hare, a Vancouver band who has been a popular feature at the event.

Funds raised at the event will go towards new surgical equipment at Cariboo Memorial Hospital. With new surgeries now being made available locally, specialized equipment is needed to support these services.

Read more: Woodland Jewellers in Williams Lake annual fundraising raffle

Read more: A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is theme for 2022 Cariboo Memorial Hospital Foundation Gala

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
Read more