Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 08, 2024
Our 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner was a resounding success. We celebrated with just over one hundred members and guests with a very nice meal and wonderful time for fellowship with old and new friends.
Our evening was kept on track by our Master of Ceremonies, Eric Germain, who deftly kept the program moving between courses.
 
The evening opened with greetings from District Governor Brent Collingwood, We also welcomed Patrick LaForge, President of the Rotary Club of Edmonton South the club which sponsored our club fifty years ago and Jean Crepin, a charter member and Casey Kozicky, current Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Nisku-Leduc which our club sponsored in 1991.
 
We then recognized some of the many International Support, Community Support, Community Service and Fundraising projects our club has been involved with over the years and acknowledged some of the people who were involved with these.
 
We thanked our Gold Sponsors for the evening, Pradeep Das’s Space Engine Systems and the Can K Group of Companies, Liam Whalen Real Estate, Loida Lumanlan Real Estate, The Granholm Family, Eric and Val Solash and Jim Peddie Insurance and Financial Services as well as our Sliver Sponsors, The John and Betty Germain Endowment Fund, CASA Mental Health and Carin and Stephan Jansen van Vuuren’s Afrilekka Tours.
 
We also made several special presentations during the evening:
 
District Governor Brent Collingwood made two presentations to our Charter Member Hans Granholm in recognition of his fifty years of Rotary service, one from Rotary International and one from our Rotary District.  This was followed by a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation by club Director Donna Hutton to Hans Granholm from our Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona in recognition of his fifty years of service to our club.
 
For our 50th Anniversary, President Heather de Kok and Director Donna Hutton made a Community Project  donation of fifty thousand dollars from our club to Bonnie Blakely, CEO and Janet Hancock, Board Chair of CASA Mental Health.
 
Carin Jansen van Vuuren, Youth Committee chair from our club then presented a special 50th Anniversary Scholarship of five thousand dollars to J H Picard High School student Serena Bulesic whose passion is the violin, a dedicated ,focused and talented individual who is planning to pursue a career in Music at the U of A.  
 
Paul Harris Awards were presented to Peggy Nesbitt and Grant Nicol by Hans and Linda Granholm and also to Shane Theberge and Sophie Stadler by Eric Germain.
 
For the year end turnover portion of the program, President Heather de Kok presented the Rotarian of the Year Award to Brenda McCullough for her outstanding service to our club over the past year. She then thanked our out going board members for their service this past year. Our President Elect, Loida Lumanlan ended the evening with closing remarks.
 
Photos from this event can be viewed in the 50th Gala Photo Album and more will be added as they are received.