Above: Adrian and Tracy Mulligan pose with the 1966 Ford Mustang up for auction ahead of attending the Mar. 25 gala. The car ultimately was auctioned for $21000.

by Stephen Dafoe

The results came in Wednesday afternoon for the Father’s House’s Mar. 25 fundraising gala. Called, God-Father: A Moving Love Story, the event drew 373 members of the church family and the broader community to help celebrate the church’s being the recipient of the former King of Kings Lutheran Church building in St. Albert from Landrex.

But more than a 1920s mobster-themed evening, the event sought to raise funds to help cut the donated building into four sections and move it to a property just west of Morinville.

To that end, Pastor Greg Fraser said he was well pleased.

“It was ridiculously fun. The gala was a success in every way, but probably the biggest success was just the absolutely great time that the church family had with many people from the community,” Fraser said. “It was hugely successful. After expenses, we raised over $80,000, and another $2000 for the [Morinville] Food Bank.”

In addition to paying $50 per person for the gala banquet evening, attendees had the opportunity to help raise money by bidding on a number of donated silent and live auction items.

Topping the list of desirable items was a candy red 1966 Ford Mustang, a car Fraser said went for $21,000. Another high-end auction item was a large framed photo of Muhammad Ali fighting Joe Frazier, signed by both boxers. That item went for $5000. A week’s stay at a cottage in Prince Edward Island went for $3400 – not once but twice. Noting a bidding war, the quick-thinking emcee asked if the owner of the cottage would offer two weeks – allowing both top bidders to both get the prize.

Fraser said the Godfather theme was a good choice. Eighty-five per cent of attendees wore 1920s garb and enjoyed the period piece atmosphere.

But the event was mostly about moving – moving a 10,500 square foot building that will be cut into four pieces and moved to the church’s land in Sturgeon County sometime this summer.

“We started the evening talking about all the moves that our church family has done – one time we were in eight buildings in seven different days, trying to utilize multiple sites,” Fraser said. “Now God is moving on our behalf to get this church building to us, which is amazing.”

But for Fraser and his congregation, the present project is not so much about buildings as it is about the people – people who will continue to come together to make the dream a reality for the growing church community.

“Our building committee is in high gear because we are putting together our new architectural plans, which are going to be done this week,” Fraser said, adding there is still much to be done before the church can be moved mid-summer.

Fraser said the church was looking at approximately $6 million to build their proposed church. Being gifted one by Landrex will allow them to complete the project for about $2.6 million.

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