2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at Blackjack. (Simon Lau photo)

2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at Blackjack. (Simon Lau photo)

High hopes for in-person Red Serge Gala on Semiahmoo Peninsula

28th fundraiser for community safety programs set for Oct. 23 return

After their major fundraiser was sidelined by the pandemic in 2020, members of the Semiahmoo Community Safety Society are forging ahead with plans for a 2021 Red Serge Gala.

Society president Darren Alexander said Monday that Oct. 23 has been set for the ‘Roaring 20s’ affair – and it will not be virtual.

Filled with optimism that COVID-19 restrictions will continue to lift on schedule, organizers have set the gala at Hazelmere Country Club and tickets are going on sale this week.

READ MORE: Reopening Canada: A look at COVID-19 reopening plans across the country

“I’ve been getting a good response from people, hearing that we’re planning an in-person event,” Alexander said Monday (June 21). “I think it’s given the board, definitely, a shot of energy and excitement.”

The annual gala is a fundraiser for community safety programs and initiatives. In 2019, it notched its most successful year, raising $76,000 – well above the record $60,000 that was set the year prior.

READ MORE: South Surrey gala ‘gaining momentum’ for community safety

Building on that momentum, organizers had been excited to host a ‘Roaring 20s’ event in 2020 – “and then the unexpected happened.”

Programs and initiatives supported by the funds – including the Semiahmoo Peninsula Marine Rescue Society, Kindred Community Farm Sanctuary and, as of last year, a trio of scholarships to local high school grads – did not miss out on funding due to the pandemic, Alexander noted. In fact, the grants became even more important.

“A lot of the groups that we fund were hurting, just like everybody, so they were really grateful,” he said.

Much like galas of years past, plans for the 28th event include a three-course, sit-down dinner, live and silent auction, draws and more. As well, local meteorologist Mark Madryga is returning as MC, and there will be a DJ.

One difference will be in the number of tickets available. Last year, close to 200 tickets were sold. This year, that number has been cut to about 150 – 19 tables of eight.

Everything, of course, hinges on the province’s reopening plan proceeding as hoped. The final stage of it is slated to take effect on Sept. 7.

“It’s just nice to be able to have something,” Alexander said.

There is a backup plan, he added. If the Oct. 23 event gets sidelined, the gala will be postponed until Feb. 19, 2022. Tickets, he said, will be honoured on either date.

Alexander said sponsors are still being sought, as are auction items. He reiterated the impact that the support has on the organizations and initiatives that benefit from the funds raised.

At the same time, “we’re sensitive to the fact some businesses are hurting.”

Tickets are $135 each through Aug. 31, and $150 each after that. A table is $950.

To reserve, or for more information, visit semiahmoocommunitysafety.org

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