There was a special benefit fundraiser held in Bentley on New Year's Eve in support of central Alberta's proposed Ronald McDonald House.
"We had really good support," said organizer Cherri Bosch, owner of Altered Images in Bentley. "We had lots of very good donations (for the silent and live auctions) but the turnout was disappointing." Only 100 tickets were sold.
"Maybe it was not a good time for a fundraiser — right after Christmas" she speculated. "And it was very cold out."
The evening included a catered dinner by Red Deer Catering and a midnight lunch as well as the live band The Rojos from Calgary, both a live and a silent auction, and a visit from Ronald McDonald and his wife.
Master of ceremonies was Tim Day from Bentley who did an admirable job. Allen Breemersch, who told his own story of using a Ronald McDonald house when his daughter was ill, was the auctioneer.
There were many top notch items up for bids including tickets to see Reba, NHL tickets to an Edmonton Oilers game, a painting from La-z-boy, hockey card sets from McDonald’s in Ponoka and a ski weekend in Invermere.
A special item was donated by the Bentley volunteer firemen. They donated four men for eight hours to do the chore of the bidder’s choice that could be snow removal, tree trimming, whatever.
The Bentley School showed support by donating $600 that they had raised during 'hat days' at school. From Dec. 1-16 students were allowed to wear hats in school if they paid a loonie per day they wanted to wear hats and staff could wear jeans if they paid a toonie each day they wore them.
A little more $7,200 in total was raised after expenses.
Organizers were Cherri Bosch, Melissa Wells, and Nicole Wanchco from Altered Images Hair Salon & Day Spa, Bentley.
They are unsure whether they will try organizing something like that again. It was such a lot of work and they had hoped to raise a lot more.