Katherine De Vita helps Susan Laurio with her mask, as Laurio adjusts the mask of Darren Alexander, ahead of the 2017 gala. (File photo)

Katherine De Vita helps Susan Laurio with her mask, as Laurio adjusts the mask of Darren Alexander, ahead of the 2017 gala. (File photo)

South Surrey gala ‘gaining momentum’ for community safety

Red Serge dinner sold out weeks ago – but those interested can still gamble on scoring a ticket

Anyone who was waiting till the last minute to buy tickets to this year’s Red Serge dinner fundraiser is almost certainly out of luck – all 190 of the available reserved seats to the ‘Casino Royale’ affair were snapped up long ago.

But, since the evening’s theme has a gambling edge to it, those who want to place their bets on a ticket becoming available at the last minute can still log their interest with organizers, by emailing info@semiahmoocommunitysafety.org

“Sometimes, people cancel last-minute,” Darren Alexander, head of the host Semiahmoo Community Safety Society, said Thursday.

“We have a short waiting list.”

The annual gala is a fundraiser for community safety programs and initiatives. Set for Oct. 19 at Hazelmere Golf Club, the 27th iteration is shaping up to be – again – one for the record books, Alexander said.

“We’re expecting records across the board,” he told Peace Arch News, referring to attendance, anticipated funds raised and number of silent auction items.

“I believe it’s the largest ever, certainly in my time. We think we’re going to be able to hit 80 (thousand dollars, gross)” raised.

Last year’s gala grossed just over $60,000, he said.

READ MORE: ‘Mystery entertainer’ to highlight South Surrey Red Serge soiree

Groups and organizations that benefited include Kindred Community Farm (formerly Semiahmoo Animal League Inc.), with $15,000; Semiahmoo Peninsula Marine Rescue Society ($10,000), White Rock Community Policing & Victim Services ($15,000), White Rock Firefighters Charity Association ($2,500) and the Peace Arch Elementary playground ($2,000).

Alexander said the funds doled out to the various groups and initiatives are further evidence of the gala’s momentum in recent years.

He attributed the increased interest this year to such changes as shifting it to a Saturday evening, and moving to a plated, three-course dinner from a buffet meal.

Other highlights include casino tables where guests can gamble with “funny money,” a martini bar, live auction items such as a one-week Alaska cruise for two and a pair of luxury Bond-esque vehicles – an Aston Martin and a Lotus – as props.

The Lotus, Alexander noted, is not quite the same as that featured in the 1977 movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. In the film, the vehicle was a submersible.

“This one doesn’t do that,” he chuckled.

For more on the gala or the society, visit www.semiahmoocommunitysafety.org



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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