By Herald on October 2, 2020.
The 23rd annual Royal Gala is going online.
However, the end goal remains the same as the fundraiser for the Lethbridge YWCA Harbour House and hosted by Royal LePage South Country Real Estate nears the $1 million mark after over two decades of support and $901,700 raised.
After raising another $62,000 last year for Harbour House, an emergency shelter for women and children escaping violence, this year’s Royal Gala will take place in cyberspace due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
“Due to the fact we’re unable to hold the live event we’ve decided to transfer our auction completely online,” said Ally Keith, one of the chairs for the gala, at the Royal Gala announcement at the YWCA Thursday morning. “In the past three years we have had a Handbid app that we used at the auction, but we still had a live auction at the event. Because we’re not able to do that we’re transferring everything online and hopefully, more members of the community will participate as well because we are not limited by size or room capacity.”
The auction runs Nov. 24-30 and items up for bid are still in the works, said Keith, who is also a Realtor at Royal LePage South Country.
“In the past few years we have had upwards of 500 items, so it can be anything and everything, sports memorabilia, gift certificates, local packages from business owners here, you name it, we’ve probably had it as a donation item.”
The auction is going to be held on an app called Handbid, which works on every type of phone, said Keith.
“But for any information they can contact any Royal LePage Realtor or you can contact anybody from the YWCA. We’ll have it on our Facebook and other social media pages as well as having other involvement from companies to help promote the event.”
An announcement will be made once the online auction is formally opened and people can start bidding, said Keith.
But bidders will get a preview on what items will be up for grabs.
“What we’ll do leading up to the events is post items that we have received as donations to our Facebook so you can see what’s coming and get an idea of what type of items you want to bid on,” said Keith.
Royal LePage also has a national foundation called Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, said Keith.
“They’re the biggest foundation in Canada that provides support to women’s shelters across Canada. We’re really fortunate that we have the opportunity to directly support our local community. We know that based on the climate of this year help is more than we could have anticipated. So for us to be able to take part and do what we can do to help is very important.”
The importance of the Royal Gala is twofold, said YWCA CEO Shannon Hansen.
“One is obviously the community support and financial contributions are vital for us to be able to continue to provide the good services. With this year we have an increased need for services and increased service delivery costs due to increased staffing and different COVID protocols.”
The other key facet is public awareness of the need for domestic violence support and also the fact the YWCA is here, said Hansen.
“Maybe people who haven’t needed our support in the past hear about the Royal Gala, the Harbour House and the YWCA, and they’re aware of who to contact when they need support, or if they have a friend who needs support. So I think the community awareness and the support available is also very important.”
The Royal LePage South Country Real Estate Facebook link is http://www.facebook.com/RLPSouthCountry. The Royal Gala Facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/RoyalGalaLeth.
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