“We started the fundraiser at 5 p.m. and by 5:10, it was packed. You couldn’t move. We had a line out the door,” said co-organizer Steph Giroux-Feininger, who along with her father, Paul, thought of the fundraiser in memory of her mom, and loving wife, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s.
“Our goal was $25,000 and we got closer to $30,000 (tips, portion of proceeds from food sales and silent auction items combined),” she said. “And it was all Taber, let me tell you. Each volunteer we brought in, each had their own cheering team. It was unbelievable, the turnout, and it was all local Taber people.”
Giroux-Feininger noted organizers enlisted the help of Taber Community Action and Prevention Society (TCAPS) for its fundraising expertise along with several caring Taberites and Taber Police Service members as servers to make the night a memorable one in the spirit of camaraderie to help a good cause.
“The community support was there. There were line ups at the door where we had to turn people away. It’s an example of Steph’s network within the community and her ability to get people there for a good cause. TCAPS came on board because we’ve been in the business of doing fundraising for quite an amount of time now,” said Graham Abela, inspector for Taber police Service and member of TCAPS. “With the success so four Ladies Night out and other events, we do have some skills in that regard in co-ordinating and banking. TCAPS’ mandate is to assist in human service needs and gaps in the community. Some of the most vulnerable people in the community are the elderly and those suffering from things like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It was easy to get on board for a cause like this.”
The fundraiser had takeout available as well which police auxiliary constables helped deliver for fundraising tips, where even then Giroux-Feininger added people wanted to poke their heads in to see how the fundraiser was going in both the restaurant and lounge areas and gave their tips personally in takeout pick-up.
“We even had people come in the Tuesday and Wednesday after the fundraiser where we raised another $2,000 because they couldn’t come on the Monday.”
The event also helped raise awareness of the Linden View facility and what services it offers as funds raised will go towards a bladder scanner and yard work at the site for Alzheimer/dementia residents to enjoy.
“Taber was the star here, people who donated tips, businesses who donated auction items, everyone showed how much they cared. This was something I wanted to help my dad with and it changed into something else,” said Giroux-Feininger. “At first, I struggled with it thinking I wasn’t ready for it with not taking the time out to heal from losing my mom. But then it turned into something it should of in raising money and awareness so people understand what’s going on. We did this in a month organizing it, and it brought out volunteers where it sparked something within them in making a difference.”