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Gala Raises Thousands to Support Local Food Charity

In a major fundraising effort, local Nanoose Bay residents raised over $21,000 to go to Nanoose Community Services (NCS) in support oftheir neighbours in need.  The ‘Gala’ dinner event was held at Fairwinds Clubhouse in late September.

The moment they walked in the door, guests were greeted by event host and auctioneer, Patrick Murray; NCS Volunteer Ann Larson, and NCS President, Pam Bjornson, as they were served a glass of Prosecco, in what was truly a ‘Gala’ evening.  

Guests Peter Huber, Margareta Bleiker, Rick Bleiker, Leslie MacDonald, Al MacDonald, Pat Scholz

“I want to thank the organizing committee, in particular, Patrick Murray, for their tireless work over the past several months planning and perfecting details for this major NCS fundraising event”, said Pam.  Working with Patrick were committee members:  Joanie Miller, Marion Clark, Crystal Ironside, Bruce Robertson and assistants Leslie Horsman and Ann Milne. 

Patrons purchased ‘balloons’ for an opportunity to win prizes donated by local businesses, including car detailing, return passage on BC Ferries, restaurant gift certificates, ‘649’ tickets and wine, all going towards the proceeds for the local charity.

Diners declared the meal, prepared by Fairwinds chefs, “outstanding”!  Braised short ribs of beef, complete with large marrow bone and sablefish with lobster risotto received rave reviews.  

“Patrick did his usual masterful job as auctioneer,” said committee member Joanie Miller,  “skillfully soliciting the best prices for the twelve items on a list that included: a gourmet dinner created and served by the Fairwinds culinary team, a two night stay at a Naramata B&B with VIP tours of several wineries, a sunset cruise with Haida Gold Ocean Adventures, and a nine- hole golf lesson with Fairwinds PGA Class ‘A’ golf professional, Jeff Dinn.”

One of the guests, who wished to remain anonymous, offered a $1000 donation if anyone would match it.  Immediately the $1000 was matched, plus another $1000 added through individual bids.  

NCS president, Pam Bjornson summed up the general consensus by everyone who attended the evening event. “What a fabulous job the organizers did, and a great result too! The clubhouse was beautifully decorated, the food was great, and everyone interpreted ’smart casual’ as they wished.  It was a very nice evening with a warm vibe – what a community we have!!


  1. Ginny Brucker

    Thank you so much, all of you who worked so hard on the gala, those who donated, and those who attended, for your generosity. And thank you too, to all of you who volunteer throughout the year. It means a great deal to both of us that NCS continues to support local residents who face many challenges.

    • Pam Bjornson

      Ginny, we would like to have you come and talk to us some time about how it all started. I will be in touch to see if that’s possible. Thank you for all you did for Nanoose Bay.

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