For the first time, Valley City’s Eagle Aerie will host a special event to benefit the American Cancer Society – the “Here Comes The Sun, Tonight’s Dream .. Tomorrow’s Hope Gala, said Rod Grafing, one of the organizers.
Grafing said the event is scheduled to run 6:30 p.m. to midnight March 16.
Hilde van Gijssel, the main planner for the event, said Friday, “Barnes County has long been hosting the Relay for Life and Daffodil Days, and over the last couple of years we figured there was space in this town to do something different (along with both traditional events).”
Van Gijssel said many women have fancy dresses in the back of their closets used only once for a special event, and a dinner/dance party such as the one planned for March 16 will be the perfect opportunity to wear it once again.
Van Gijssel said the Daffodil Days fundraiser is now taking place, the flowers will be delivered at the same time as the planned gala, and daffodils will be used to decorate the Eagles during the event.
“It is not in place of Daffodil Days,” van Gijssel said.
Organizers of the event are seeking companies to sponsor tables at the gala, with prices ranging from $250 to $5,000. In return for a $250 sponsorship, a business would get six tickets, for four employees and a local cancer survivor and spouse or guest, van Gijssel said.
Survivors are recognized and honored during the continuing Relay for Life event, but also making them guests at the gala “might be just what the doctor ordered,” a fun event for survivors and possibly care givers.
Another planned part of the fundraising event will be selling performances of 100 tribute songs, with music for the evening based on what people ask for. “We’re only selling 100, because there is only so much time during the day.”
A number of local businesses have also volunteered to help sell. Van Gijssel said some local musicians and some improv theater is also being arranged for the evening.
“By the time March rolls around, people in North Dakota can be sick and tired of winter, and they’ll get a chance to wear the dress you never thought you would wear again,” van Gijssel said.
Honorary chairs of the gala event will be Tim and Joanne Kadrmas, a cancer survivor and caregiver. Van Gijssel said cards will soon be mailed out giving more information about the event.
“We want to celebrate hope, and honor survivors and caregivers. At this point we are looking for support (in terms of table sponsorships). Everything counts (from the $250 sponsorship to the $5,000 sponsorship). We just started the campaign this week. I’m so excited about this” and looking forward to its success, Van Gijssel said.
She said the evening also signifies the winter ending, a return to spring weather and hope.
People interested in sponsorships or seeking more information can call van Gijssel at 845-0106 or at VCSU, 845-7337.