The Juniper Centre will host their 21st annual Gaiety Night on May 26, in a celebration of peace and love and all things groovy with a throwback to the 1960s.
Gaiety Night is the only event that the Juniper Centre staff comes forward to ask for support from the business community.
Rachel Templeton is specialty program manager at the Juniper Centre, and says that theme nights are always a great draw.
“The 60’s theme should be really fun,” said Templeton, “we want to keep things light and fun, and we encourage people to dress up for the theme. We’re going to decorate the entire hall to the point you won’t be able to recognize it when you walk in.”
Last year’s event raised nearly $16,000, with the proceeds going towards installing automatic doors, as well as making upgrades to the washrooms.
This year’s project for the Juniper Centre is to purchase a new, wheelchair-accessible mini-van, as well as a garage to store it in.
“We have the handi-van, but it’s huge, and no one wants to drive it if you’re just going to the grocery store,” said Templeton, “we run the handi-van for the city, but we’re responsible for storing it, so it gets really expensive. We would like to have our own garage to store a new van as well as the handi-van.”
Money will be raised through ticket sales, and sponsorships, along with fundraisers held the night of the event such as silent and live auctions.
“We have some great prizes to auction this year, including a Winnipeg Jets jersey and tickets, and the live auction always brings in a good chunk of money,” said Templeton.
The main source for funding, however, lies in the hands of the sponsors. This year’s Gaiety Night features five levels of sponsorship, starting with Bronze level at $100, all the way up to Diamond level at $1,000.
For the Diamond and Platinum ($750) sponsorship levels, there are perks such as four complimentary tickets for Diamond sponsors and two for Platinum, as well as a VIP cocktail hour, valet parking and preferred priority seating.
Manitoba Hydro Employees Association have set the bar high and put out a challenge to local businesses, with a sponsorship of $2,500.
“It’s great what they (Manitoba Hydro) are doing,” said Templeton, “their contribution is a huge help and I think the challenge they have put out will drive sponsorship money in, because this town can be pretty competitive, so we’re really hoping it creates some friendly competition with some other employee associations.”
Jodie Ellingson, owner of Jodie’s Hair Salon, has kicked off another fundraiser, where all proceeds from haircuts a select three or four days during the month leading up to Gaiety Night will go towards the Juniper Centre, an effort that raised almost $700 last year.
The night itself will feature music, entertainment provided by comedian Dan Nainan, who has opened for Russell Peters and appeared on the TV series Last Comic Standing. The menu will include appetizers and drinks, and prime rib is on the main course.
Individual tickets sell for $60 each and will get you entry, dinner, and the drinks at your table along with a night of fun and entertainment.