Danny Hooper Productions

Another record-breaker for a new client

It’s Sunday night and I’m still buzzing after completing the first two of five Festival of Trees Galas that I’ll be working this November. I love this time of year, and there’s nothing that can put me in a festive mood faster than these magical and splendorous events. And what a pleasure and a privilege it is to participate as the emcee and fundraising auctioneer.

The Ponoka Regional Health Foundation hosted their 2nd annual FOT event last Thursday night, and I’m happy to report that despite all the doom and gloom created by the low oil prices and resulting downturn in our economy, both attendance and auction revenues at this event were up 25%. That’s amazing, and a true testament to the hard work of the ‘never-say-never’ volunteers and the community-focused generosity of the attendees.

Then on Saturday I flew to Fort MacMurray, the very epicentre of the current recession. More than 30,000 workers in this northern community, the home of the Alberta Oil Sands, have lost their jobs in the past few months. And so it was with considerable trepidation that I stepped onstage to begin this auction. With 28 spectacularly decorated trees to sell, each sponsored by a local business, the event organizers and I were skeptical (to say the least). “If we can make $200,000,” stated Susanne Chaffey, Executive Director of the Northern Lights Health Foundation, “I’ll be thrilled.”

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Well, by the time the dust settled and the last tree had been auctioned, a jaw-dropping, record-breaking $409,000 had been raised for this wonderful organization. It was, indeed, an early Christmas miracle. And I am so thankful to have been, for the first time in 26 years, a part of the fun and excitement. We always enjoy working with new clients!