Dessert gala a sweet success

In a world where “not enough-ness” is the urgent global message, hunkering down for dark times looks like the right strategy; yet, it is the direct route to true impoverishment.

In a world where “not enough-ness” is the urgent global message, hunkering down for dark times looks like the right strategy; yet, it is the direct route to true impoverishment. Fortunately, we have access to the very elements that can change our experience regardless of how convincing it all looks — both as individuals and as a planet.

That is the message author and keynote speaker Victoria Castle brought to the annual Dessert Night Gala in the heart of National Volunteer Week (April 19 to 25).

More than 500 community volunteers and voluntary sector administration assembled at the Red Deer Lodge for an event that has become a bastion for our community. In fact, the event has become so popular that tickets are sold out before the invitations are even delivered!

This event requires the co-ordinated participation of dozens of volunteers, organizers and corporate sponsors bringing together a cast of over 30 community leaders from the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors.

What makes this event unique is a clever twist of fate wherein the leaders who typically receive support from the voluntary sector get to return the favour by serving them fine desserts with a side order of thanks and praise.

Themed this year under the African philosophy of “ubuntu,” which loosely translates into “I am because you are,” the Dessert Night Gala also featured the entertainment of the drumming troupe the Mutima-Beat of Africana, hand-carved stone statues from Zimbabwe for malaria relief, and the annual Big 105 and the Drive 106.7 Friends of the Volunteer Award. The business recipient for 2009 was Pro Collision CARSTAR for their work with Cystic Fibrosis among others, and the individual recipient was Mickey Warkentin for her work with the Schizophrenia Society and many other community organizations.

Many thanks go out to all who were involved with planning, organizing, and supporting this great event. From the volunteers and organizers to the corporate and non-profit sponsors, the Dessert Night Gala is a sweet example of the spirit of ubuntu and how all members of our community get their just desserts. Red Deer’s spirit of volunteering is alive and well thanks to the oneness of community!

Rene Michalak

Program Manager

Volunteer Red Deer — a division of CiRS

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