Julia Lucio

Why the RCAF? Why not!

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A friend of mine approached me recently and asked me the dreaded question. “Why are you guys holding the Awards night at the RCAF?”

It was more of an exclamation than a question, but It is a legitimate question and one that many others may have. Therefore, I felt the need to explain how and why we came to this change of venue.

First and foremost, let me remind you that last year, we took a hiatus from the Awards for the very reason that in 2016, despite working very hard at it, our turnout was dim compared to previous years and the awards night ran a deficit. We did manage to fundraise a decent amount of money for a local family with our silent auction, but because some of our sponsors did not come through, our charity of choice that year did not receive anything.

The fact that many of our nominees are small business owners and artists makes it very hard for them to justify spending $55-$65 on a meal. Bear in mind that they buy a ticket without knowing if they are winners or not. Being that our mandate is to help small business owners and artists, we, ourselves, have a hard time justifying charging more than our cost.

Let me throw this out there: The Cornwall Golf and Country Club was really good to us every year we were there. Mike is terrific to work with and accommodated our every need. They were affordable compared to other venues, but still not enough for us to turn a decent profit on ticket sales. And as a fundraising initiative, we have to keep this in mind.

We want it all. We want the glamour, the glitz, the perfect setting, the magnificent view, the scrumptious food, the wine, the fancy desserts, the hand-etched awards, for as little money as possible. We want to offer our winner a magical night all the while giving thousands of dollars to a local charity. I know it seems like an impossible task.

Yet here we were again this year, trying to revive the event and find a suitable place that was affordable and beautiful, when Woody, from the RCAF, contacted me for a website. He showed me how the association was changing and redefining itself, wanting to cater to a greater demographic. I had seen the hall years ago and loved the view. I mean, it really does have the most beautiful water views in the area, hands down.

I spoke to Mai-Liis, and she agreed to look at it. After a visit, we felt that it was worth a try for more than one reason. First off, The Wing supports The Seeker, and that in itself is reason enough to support them back. But there is more than just wanting to return the favour. The RCAF has a stigma attached to it. It is considered a “watering hole”, a place where old guys get together to drink beer and reminisce about the good ol’ days. While that stereotype can ring true, the wing IS, after all, a military association, the venue is so much more.

The floors have been redone, chairs reupholstered, and when the room is dressed up nicely, the decor is simply enchanting. So come and join us on June 9th. Experience all that the RCAF can be. Support your local businesses, artists, athletes and volunteers. Chat on the patio while having our Seeker Signature Drink and looking at the sunset. We promise it will be just as “red carpet” as any other gala that we have held.

Tickets for the awards are $40. Our top 5 finalists in each category will be revealed on May 15.