What an enjoyable evening was had at our recent Gala for Tanzania Missions fundraiser on February 21st!

This year, our event was held at Northgate Church where we were privileged to host 160 guests. The night started with a silent auction set up the church’s foyer where guests browsed while in the background, guitar music by Christy Vanden was a pleasure to hear.

When the doors opened into the main auditorium, guests found their seats and the event was really underway! Grade 12 student, Eden Hudson, welcomed everyone and gave instructions about how the evening would progress and then it was time to eat: a delicious roast beef dinner with all the trimmings provided by Plates Catering. Those guests who bought entire tables of eight were the fortunate ones who got to go first while everyone else waited with anticipation for their turn. This task was made easier by grade 12 student, Thomas Heyd, whose piano music helped pass the time. Then it was time for the main act, Christy Vanden, to come on stage and entertain us with her incredible guitar skills. 

Next up was the Cake Auction! So much fun – who would have thought?! Auctioneers, Randy Dyck and Gordon Dyck took turns bantering and telling jokes all the while auctioning off beautiful cakes presented by Alexa Renkema, another grade 12 student. All 12 cakes were sold off at fantastic prices with five of the cakes selling for over $150 each. And the highest bid? Well, it was a whopping $300! Wow! It all benefits the Tanzania missions trip so, really, they all were a good price!

After the auction, Daniel Kooman, representing Juma’s World (www.jumasworld.org), spoke of the purpose of this year’s mission and the word he believed would encompass the trip which is “Holy”. He also showed two videos: one made up of last year’s grade 12 student team and the insights they received from their trip and the other which spoke about the mission of Days for Girls (www.daysforgirls.org) and how their supplies truly change how girls in poor countries can go to school regularly and participate in sports and other activities.

The evening came to an end with the missions team leader, Christel Davidsen, introducing the members of the missions team and having them speak of what their expectations are for the trip. Then Joy Tansky prayed over the team and asked for donations from our generous guests. How do we know they were generous? Because the incredible amount of $14,227.16 was raised at this event! Again, wow! It is the most money that has ever been raised at one of our annual Tanzania dinner fundraisers.

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and came to this event to support our grade 12 missions team, to Christy Vanden for her wonderful music, and to our cake auction auctioneers, Randy Dyck and Gordon Dyck, for such a delightful, enjoyable auction. And a very special thanks to Plates Catering for giving us such a good price to provide this dinner year after year.

Oh, and we can't forget to thank the students who volunteered help our grade 12s with set-up and tear-down of this event. We're definitely better together.

See you at next year's gala!

Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Academy

Members of the 2020 Tanzania Missions Team: Walter Wedman, Alexa Renkema, Joey LeClerc, Eden Hudson, Alec Huisamen, Thomas Heyd, Lesley Wang, Wyatt Jones, Jesse Dyble, and Christel Davidsen (teacher).