Crystal Gala: ‘It was magic’

With a celebrity MC, a high-end auction and enthusiastic donors, the annual Crystal Gala breast cancer fundraiser brought in more than $140,000 on Saturday.

Taming the Dragon was the theme of this year’s Crystal Gala fundraiser to fight breast cancer on Saturday evening at the Ramada.

Taming the Dragon was the theme of this year’s Crystal Gala fundraiser to fight breast cancer on Saturday evening at the Ramada.

With a celebrity MC, a high-end auction and enthusiastic donors, the annual Crystal Gala breast cancer fundraiser brought in more than $140,000 on Saturday.

“We had so much fun, and it was neat to have a little bit of star power this year,” said Crystal Gala committee chair Gerri Charles.

The MC was Pamela Martin, longtime CTV British Columbia news co-anchor. Health Minister Michael de Jong , the Abbotsford West MLA, also spoke, and was one of many local celebrities at the $200-per-plate fundraiser at the Ramada Inn.

One of the highlights of the evening was the live auctioning of the Man Cave, which included a 50-inch plasma TV, recliner, shag carpet, bottle of scotch, and a motorized cruise-in cooler that Charles drove into the banquet. It was purchased by Freda Nielsen, one of the members of the Women Presidents’ Organization of Vancouver which had a table at this year’s event, and whose members were generous supporters of the live auction.

Nielsen bought the ‘man cave’ for $6,500.

“That’s a nice wife,” noted Charles.

Another high-bid auction item was a Conair flight to Vernon for a round at Predator Ridge Golf Course and a stay at the Sparkling Hills Resort, which went for $3,000.

“It was magic – people were so good to us,” said Charles.

This year’s event was themed Taming the Dragon, featuring an Oriental dragon and  the Lion Dancers of SFU. There were 400 people in attendance, and “The Ramada was bursting its beautiful seams,” said Charles.

The event has been running since 1999 and has raised over $1 million. All funds raised go toward the Crystal Gala Breast Health Unit of the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre.