FUNdraiser Extravaganza part of overall $1 million fundraising effort
by Stephen Dafoe
The St. Jean Baptiste (SJB) Rebuild FUNdraiser Extravaganza takes place on May 14 at 7 p.m. at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
The event’s emcees are Justin Pautonnier from Mix 107.9 and well-known local musician Ed Bulger. The co-hosts will introduce the five acts scheduled to hit the stage for the event: Comedian Don Burnstick, vocal group Chance, music group Two Bad Apples (Rob Kaup and Danielle Edge), juggler Jordan Imgrund Harvey, and a medley from the MCHS Drama Llamas.
Tickets range from $60 to $500, with the higher ticket prices closest to the stage. Tickets for $500 get front row seating, $250 for second-row seating, $150 for third-row seating, $100 for seating in rows 4 through 6, and $60 for remaining floor seats and bleacher seating.
SJB Fundraising Committee member Gerry Gaetz said a portion of each ticket is a tax-deductible direct donation to the fundraising efforts.
“The ticket gets you in, but it is also a donation to the cause,” Gaetz said. “Over and above the first forty bucks (the actual ticket price), everything else is a charitable donation.”
In addition to the performance aspect of the fundraiser, there will also be a 50/50 draw and a silent auction. An online auction is also scheduled to run two weeks before the event.
Overall Goal To Raise An Additional $1 Million For Rebuild
The May 14 event is part of the Fundraising Committee’s overall efforts to raise an additional $1 million for the rebuilding project with the theme The Bells Will Ring Again.
“We knew we were going to be short on some of the things that were going to be incorporated in the new church, and mainly the stuff like the steeple and bells outside, and maybe a memorial for the old church,” Gaetz explained.
Although insurance will cover much of the build, the Parish wants to add a steeple and bells to the new church, something church and community members said they wanted to see in a recent community-wide survey.
St. Paul Diocese Bishop Paul Terrio asked the Parish to raise the additional funds with the assurance that all funds raised would go directly to the project.
One of the earlier projects was saving as many of the century-old church’s bricks, which have been stored away for a potential memorial; others being made available to the community as a memento fundraiser since last fall.
Variety Show and tribute
The May 14 FUNdraiser Extravaganza is a variety show of local and national acts. Headlining the show is standup comedian Don Burnstick, an Alexander First Nation member and Morinville resident.
Gaetz said along with the lineup of performers, the evening will include a tribute to the volunteer firefighters, particularly their efforts in battling the June 30, 2021 fire.
“They’re going to be piped in by bagpipes,” Gaetz said.
Tickets are available online at TicketPro.ca or by phone at 1-866-908-9090. They are also available at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre box office. For more information, call 780-939-4401.
Doors open at 6 p.m. on May 14, and there will be a cash bar available with wine and beer available.