November 23rd, 2017

Diamond Dinner is for the ladies


By Kuhl, Nick on October 13, 2017.

Demi Knight

Southern Alberta Newspapers -fort macleod

It’s Ladies Night in October with the Empress Theatre’s annual fundraiser.

With winter brewing and outdoor activities coming to a close, women can save the date in their calendars on Saturday for the annual Diamond Dinner at the Fort Macleod Community Hall.

Dianna Wakelin, former president of the Empress Theatre and current member of the Diamond Dinner organizing committee, says his long-standing tradition is a night of fun, entertainment and lavish luxuries for all women in attendance.

“The Diamond Dinner is one of the biggest events of the year and it’s also one of our major fundraisers along with the community play. However, this event is geared entirely towards the ladies, so it’s special and different and really fun!”

It’s the 18th year for the annual fundraiser in Fort Macleod and Wakelin says the event gains more and more traction each year.

With extravagant themes, lavish prizes and a mouth-watering menu, it’s no wonder the event brings crowds of women to the door each year, and as an added bonus, it’s all in the name of charity.

By raising money for the Empress Theatre, $25 of each $80 ticket purchased will be given as a tax-deductible receipt and will go directly towards the theatre, while the remainder of the proceeds will go towards an entrance into the raffle, the catering and evening as a whole.

“We give away really spectacular door prizes, as well as a couple of big things that we advertise such as diamond jewelry. The prizes are really quite stunning and valuable,” says Wakelin.

However, it’s not just the bling that the ladies go for, but the overall experience. With fun themes such as “Jungle Book,” Disney characters and “Midnight at the Oasis,” the hall, dinner and dress apparel is always set in accordance to each year’s theme.

“Last year our theme was the Magical World of Disney and we’ve had some amazing years over the years and majority of people dress up and get really into it. But even if people don’t want to dress up it’s always fun to see what everyone else is doing and enjoy the atmosphere,” says Wakelin.

This year, the event will be dabbling in the world of the United Services Organization (USO) canteen, where Wakelin says the evening will be centred around the Second World War, where entertainers used to go behind the scenes of war to different troops and play for them.

With music, live entertainment, a lavish dinner from LA Chefs and a silent auction, fun activities are scheduled for guests to enjoy long into the night. Many ladies are happy to take advantage of their night without men not only locally from Fort Macleod but also from places such as Lethbridge through to Claresholm.

“We have people that come from Lethbridge, Granum and even Claresholm coming to Fort Macleod each year. Overall, we normally get around 150 ladies anywhere from that to 180,” says Wakelin of the attendance.

With a hope of raising $10,000 at each year, Wakelin says the Diamond Dinner usually surpasses the goal and is only getting more successful.

Tickets for the event are $80 and are available online or at the Empress Theatre and must be purchased in advance as Wakelin added that there must be a set number sent off to the caterers a few days before the dinner takes place.

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