After making $8,000 last year, the fourth annual Wings Sky National Gala set the bar a little higher. And they recorded a kill-shot, record-smashing $30,000 for six club volleyball teams heading to the Canadian finals, May 16-22, in Edmonton.
“We were able to net $5,000 for each team to help pay for travel expenses,” said event committee chair Sherman Dahl, of Wings Tap and Grill. “The support we got from the community was amazing.”
A silent and live auction, featuring Kevin Rothwell fetching bids, were featured following a mouth-watering roast-beef buffet served by chefs Bryan Flint and Carol Best. Sky Volleyball director Paula Harned said the red-carpet gala was sold out at 300 guests.
“The gala (Thursday night) was more than a simple fundraiser,” said honourary chair and coach Troy Lorenson.”It was a statement that sports are important in kids’ lives. We are so proud of the athletes – total teamwork and class. Josh and Lacey Dueck also set a new record. They performed their first ever duo presentation to the sold-out crowd. The entire group fell in love with the amazing couple.”
Josh and Lacey stated: “Vernon is our home; we love this community and all these Sky Volleyball athletes were amazing to work with – good luck at nationals.”
After a tragic accident on skis at Silver Star Mountain Resort while a freestyle coach in 2004, Josh was given a choice; wallow in misery or shift his perception of how one can move through the mountains. He was a 2014 Sochi Paralympic gold medalist, Canada’s closing ceremonies flag bearer in Sochi and a 2010 Paralympic silver medalist. He was also the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2011, X Games gold medalist, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee recipient and the first person to perform a backflip on a sit-ski.
Josh and Lacey gave the audience a glimpse into their lives, the challenges and triumphs they have faced, along with the techniques and perspective they use in all phases of life. They truly shared the skills to make ‘Passion plus Perseverance equal Possibility’.
The event started with champagne bar and appetizers. Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund were also in attendance.
The silent auction tent was packed all night and the live auction was also a huge hit. Stevie Todd was on the piano entertaining guests with live music the entire night. The gala started with a red-carpet reception that began outside with the Prospera Credit Union Tent and surrounded by more than 100 silent auction items.
The Under 16 and 17 girls (two teams in each category), the Under 18 girls and U17 boys will compete at the Alberta Edmonton Expo Centre.
For a complete list of sponsors and supporters, visit the program link on www.skyvolleyballclub.ca.