An annual fundraiser in support of MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe drew over 340 people to the Lacombe Memorial Centre Saturday night.
The 9th Annual LAPA Gala Fundraiser featured two-time Grey Cup Champion and four-time CFL All Star Charleston Hughes, Grey Cup Champion and three-time CFL All Star Adarius Bowman and fellow celebrities Quinn Smith of the Calgary Stampeders, former Montreal Canadien Gilbert Dionne and Lacombe’s-own Country Music Star Gord Bamford.
The event featured live and silent auction items, as well as entertainment from Calgary-based Comedian, Emcee and Speaker Gery Schubert.
Event spokesperson Darrin Thompson of the Lacombe Athletic Park Association says the money raised goes towards the organization’s Capital Project Fund.
“Right now, it’s used towards the field, making sure the field turf is in good shape for our user-groups and looking at other capital projects down the line,” explains Thompson.
He says there’s a big project that members of the community have been asking for and he’s hoping this year’s Gala brings in over $40,000 towards that.
“We have to sit down with the Board and sit down with the communities and see what is exactly next for the LAPA,” says Thompson. “I know people have been asking about a running track and where people have been asking about the Field House and we have to address those and see what is the first urgent need before we go forward.”
Former Calgary Stampeder and now Saskatchewan Roughrider Charleston Hughes says he really enjoys being a part of the event.
“This is my second year with this organization,” says Hughes. “Anywhere from the entertainment to the dressing up like Star Wars, to just meeting people that are involved throughout the community and really support this organization, has been an awesome opportunity. It’s better every single year that I come here and this year is even better than the first time I came.”
Hughes encourages more people to attend the Gala in the future so the event can move up to an even larger venue.
“Then we can have more people donating to the organization and donating to the athletic program they have going on and to Adarius 4 Autism.”
Former Edmonton Eskimo and now Winnipeg Blue Bomber Adarius Bowman says an event like this is a great way for CFL players to give back to the communities that support them.
“LAPA has done a great job today,” exclaims Bowman. “This is an amazing gala, I really love the theme and I really love the emcee today. Hopefully I can be a part of a lot more memories they have here.”
“I just love the support from all of Canada,” Bowman adds. “From east to west, I love how the CFL has an understood brotherhood. We go at each other on the field but off the field we do great things like this.”
Final totals raised from Saturday’s LAPA Gala Fundraiser are yet to be released.
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