The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre is hosting its first-ever Grande Gathering Gala, which will serve as a major fundraiser for the organization and its programs.
Chair of the Grande Gathering Gala Committee Lois Duke says that she and others are looking forward to the event and connecting with people. Indigenous country artist Jason Benoit will also be performing.
“This event is the first of its kind here in Grande Prairie. We thought that it was about the right opportunity and time for the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre to host an event like this to show the incredible contributions and work that the GPFC does in the community.”
Duke has experienced the sheer importance of the Friendship Centre first hand, something she says can’t be understated.
“I’ve been in the community for over ten years. My husband and I moved back to raise our children here. One of the first things that we were a part of was the Head Start program at the Friendship Centre. It represented an opportunity for my family to reconnect and connect with Indigenous families here in the city,” she explains.
“My children were in the Head Start program. I’m very involved as a board member and it really has brought me a connection to my culture that I simply wouldn’t have if the Friendship Centre wasn’t here.”
Duke is grateful to Hammerhead Resources for providing a substantial amount of financial support to make this fundraiser possible.
“If this event is successful and we are more than confident that it will be, it’s something that we can continue to hold for years to come,” she says.
Duke says that in the spirit of reconciliation, she feels that providing an event for the community to engage with the Friendship Centre is of critical importance.
“We feel it will bring our communities closer together so that we have a better community to live in for everyone. The Friendship Centre has been in the community for over 60 years and there’s still some work that needs to be done. We’re just glad to be able to have this opportunity so we can continue to work on what is needed, as well as provide additional support for our community,” she adds.
The event is set for June 18th at Bonnetts Energy Centre. It also includes a live and silent auction, an Indigenous-inspired menu, plus a raffle. All proceeds support the Friendship Centre. To secure your sponsorship and attendance, email [email protected].