Bernie and Gabriele Patterson look at a cake shaped like a vintage car at the Evening of Decadent Desserts last year. All proceeds go to programs and services at Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Evening of Decadent Dessert is back in Red Deer

Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre fundraises for central Alberta families

Eat some cake and support central Alberta families.

The Evening of Decadent Dessert is Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre’s signature event. This year, the gala is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

With help from the community, the goal is to raise $125,000 on May 10 at Westerner Park’s Parkland Pavilion.

“The funds raised from this night are essential to support our programs and specialized equipment purchases, as well as fee assistance for families who are struggling financially,” said executive director Michelle Sluchinski.

More than 500 guests attend the evening each year. Attendees enjoy a champagne reception, raffles, entertainment, silent auction, dinner buffet, decadent dessert buffet and a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind cakes paired with unique experiences.

“Of course, our guests really enjoy all the sweets and desserts at this event, but besides indulging, they also have the opportunity to learn all about who we are, and what Aspire does for families of children with special needs,” says fund development co-ordinator Melissa Vine.

“Meeting some of our past parents and hearing their stories gives our guests a deeper understanding of how much Aspire means to families here in central Alberta.”

Also part of the evening is the much-anticipated final draw for Aspire’s annual children’s raffle. This year’s grand prize is a 2019 Jeep Compass Trailhawk, valued at $35,740. The second prize is a diamond ring, valued at $10,500. Third prize is $2,500 cash.

“So far, the children’s raffle has kicked off with strong sales, but we still need help to reach our $50,000 goal,” said Vine.

It takes more than 70 volunteers and countless sponsors and donors to help bring the event to life, Vine adds.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight. Charitable tax receipts will be issued for a portion of the ticket price.

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