Manitoulin Centennial Manor Golden Gala packed in the fun

    Manor supporters, organizations and businesses from across Manitoulin Island purchased tables and individual tickets and came together to enjoy a great night out while kicking in for a fantastic cause. photos by Michael Erskine

    LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Centennial Manor Golden Gala gave the Island a chance to shine, and show off a little polish, as they came together to celebrate 50 years of existence for the Manor, and to raise money to help improve the lives of those who live and work at the long-term-care facility—think really expensive butter tarts (but more on that later).

    Manor administrator Michelle Bond welcomed those in attendance for coming out to help celebrate the Manor’s 50 years, and for “the ongoing support and generosity shown by individuals and organizations. Thanks to your generosity we are able to enhance the quality of life for our residents who make the Manor their home.”

    Ms. Bond said that she was honoured to be part of the Manor community and to be able to share the moment with so many wonderful people.

    Among those wonderful people were Island Auctioneer Norm Morrell, who plied his wiles to help lighten the wallets of those in attendance.

    “To have been invited to participate in the fundraising gala of the Manor was a great privilege which ended up being a rare experience,” said Mr. Morrell. “As I journeyed home I had time to ponder over what it was that made this evening so great.”

    The Anchor Inn Hotel catering crew delivered a great dining experience with a chicken marsala, roast beef, seafood pasta
    combo complemented with roasted potatoe and a vegatable medley that had something for just about every taste, all topped off with a delicious cheesecake.

    “I also have to thank KT (Kelly) Timmermans for her work as emcee for the evening and Brenda Reid for the amazing work in setting up the hall for the gala and all the volunteers,” said Ms. Bond.

    The Manitoulin Centennial Manor Golden Gala organizing committee was also foremost in her mind, she noted. “They did such an amazing job and put so much work into making the gala a success.” The organizing committee consisted of Charlene MacDonald, Wilberta Leeson, Wendy Gauthier and Cathy Morden.

    “We are still sifting through all that,” noted Ms. Gauthier when queried as to how much was raised in total. “We should have the total in time for next week’s board meeting. But I can tell you that it is a pretty comfortable position to be in when you walk in the door and you are already in the black.”

    The silent auction proved popular, as attendees milled around the displays in the centre of the hall engaging in friendly rivalry to secure their favourite items, donated by local businesses and individuals. But it was the live auction where things really started to liven up.

    Mike Dubrieul, left, and his wife Manor director of care Sylvie Clark joined Manor administrator Michelle Bond and Bob MacDonald ponder the auction potential of Mr. Dubreuil’s legendary butter tarts. In the end, the tally was to far exceed anyone’s wildest dreams.

    There were barbecues, recreational kayaks and furniture up for grabs, but ounce for pound, it was Mike Dubreuil’s butter tarts that brought the greatest surprises. The first set of 12 tarts moved the bar up to a dizzy enough height at $50, but it was the second dozen that made it plain these were no ordinary buttery confections—topping out at a whopping $260.

    That bid turned out to be a canny move, however, as the winning draw on the $2,000 travel voucher door prize was first drawn by Extendicare Assist Management and Consulting Services director of operations Tracey Mulcahy, who had travelled up from southern Ontario to join regional director Keith Clement at the event.

    Because she worked for Extendicare, the management consulting team of the Manor, Ms. Mulcahy declined the prize, offering to exchange it either for “one tart” or a redraw. Bill Batman, the winner of the tart auction chose to part with a tart, and went home with the voucher.

    Emcee KT (Kelly) Timmermans and auctioneer Norm Morrell helped keep the evening moving along smoothly (and profitably).

    “The support of the Island community really was gratifying,” said Ms. Gauthier, who is also a member of the Manitoulin Centennial Manor board. “It is a pretty clear measure of success when you have a full house.”

    Funds raised from the Golden Gala are going towards the Manor’s patient ceiling lift fundraising campaign.