Eight year-old Brett Bender from College Park School belted out the national anthem to kick off the Sirens & Sapphires fundraiser for the Lloydminster Rescue Squad whose members stood at attention while Bender sang at the Lloydminster Stockade Convention Centre Saturday night. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO
Lloydminster Rescue Squad chief, Norm Namur is over the moon having raised $70,000 and counting from the this year’s Sirens & Sapphires Gala.
“Some of the numbers aren’t in yet, so this is a pretty conservative guess, but it looks like we’re at $70,000 of profit that night, so it was a wonderful, fantastic night,” said Namur on Tuesday.
He said the initial total was way more than last year, calling it a night to remember surpassing the target goal of $50,000.
“This year is no comparison; it’s a fantastic year,” he said
The third annual event attracted 420 people and 50 sponsored tables for dinner with a fundraising silent auction, live auction, and a raffle draw at the Stockade Convention Centre on Oct. 14.
Namur attributes the success of the gala to having “the right auction items and the right people” to make it happen.
“We are so appreciative of the people that purchased anything that night,” he said.
The silent auction brought in around $16,000, with the bulk of the funds coming from bids for this year’s set of five donated live-auction items.
At the top of the list was a one-week vacation for four at Indian Palms Country Club Golf Community in California including a round of golf for a foursome and use of the cart to get around.
To the delight of Namur, that $6,000 top package provided by Schiller & Associates sold for way more than its value.
“We had the right people in the crowd,” he said.
“You know what —we had Doreen and Glenn McCaw and Bill Spence added to our committee and I think they brought a lot to the table-—they made a difference.
“So much thanks to all the volunteers especially the sponsors and the table sponsors.”
Namur also tipped his hat to Danny Hooper the master of ceremonies for energizing the audience to make bids.
“He did a fantastic job of mentioning the sponsors and he kept it going,” said Namur.
Hooper helped to generate high bids for the other live auction item provided by Harvest to Home, Richardson’s Jewellery and Lloydminster Power & Leisure with an open bid for an airboat experience with the rescue squad itself.
One of the happiest guests at the gala was Lloydminster’s Bud Scott who won the Sun, Snow or Go Wild raffle prize and chose the $10,000 cash option “hands down in Namur’s words, among three prize choices.
“He said it was just going to help him out tremendously; it was nice to see the money go to someone who could use it,” said Namur.
Namur was also pleased to report that about $9,000 of the funds raised will purchase four or five sets of turnout gear for new members.
“It was something we really needed to change out and we achieved that goal that night,” he said.
The funds raised at the gala will pay for a new 180 power zoom 4K camera the rescue squad purchased in advance for its drone.
“We used it this morning (Tuesday) on a training session so it was absolutely wonderful and happy to use,” said Namur.
“We can zoom in from a long way away to determine if it’s safe to go in; it’s another tool to use in fighting fire or in a rescue mission.”
This year the squad also hopes to purchase a $15,000 remotely operated vehicle/drone (ROV) under water device.
“Right now, we’re just happy with what we’ve got but that would be one more tool we’d like with the airboat,” said Namur.
“For now, we’ll just take a little back seat and get everything organized.