Sandi Lachapelle

Sandi Lachapelle

SLIDESHOW: TRU Gala supports students’ education

TRU Gala 2017 guests dined and danced at the university Saturday evening while raising thousands of dollars in scholarships and bursaries.

TRU Gala 2017 guests dined and danced at the university Saturday evening while raising thousands of dollars in scholarships and bursaries to be given to local university students.

“Williams Lake is so generous. I am very humbled and amazed to be a part of this community,” TRU Executive Director Williams Lake Campus and Regional Centres Director Dr. Ray Sanders said of the financial support and volunteer time donated to host the sixth annual gala, held in the gymnasium at the Williams Lake Campus.

Sanders said post-secondary schooling is becoming more and more expensive and there is a great need locally for the extra assistance given by the funds raised at the gala.

“There are a lot of people who couldn’t attend school without it. I see them every day,” Sanders said. “Events like this help our students have a better life.”

The evening kicked off at 6 p.m. with cocktails and appetizers and music by the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society, followed by a prime rib dinner prepared by Carmens Catering and music by internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter Lydia Hol. Speeches followed, with Dr. Alan Shaver, president of TRU, and Sanders, speaking to guests about the long-term investment of getting an education.

“It pays back many, many fold in the future,” Shaver said.

Sanders noted TRU Williams Lake Campus has the only saw filer program in Canada and the only ranching program in B.C.

“We want to be the community’s university, and we are,” Sanders said.

Guests were also treated to a live auction which saw auctioneer Bob Miles auction off eight grand prizes while more than 40 silent auction items were also up for grabs, donated by businesses and individuals.

Local band Run Home Jack provided the live music for an evening of dancing.

The evening was emceed by Lorne Doerkson, and organized and run entirely by volunteers, many of whom were students and TRU staff.

Event sponsors included Events, Etc., Investors Group, Mark and Sally Nairn, South Broadway Liquor Store and West Fraser Truckers Association.

Club members and their families from the Chimney Valley 4-H Club were on hand to work the coat check, parking and provide safe rides home for guests.

Over the last six years, more than $130,000 has been raised at the gala for students.