Islanders put their heart into it and raised more than $70,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Prince Edward Island at Nortons Razzle Dazzle Red '10 on Saturday, a record for the event.
More than 200 people attended the gala, one of the foundation's major fundraising events of the year and one of the highlights of February's Heart Month.
Now in its sixth year, Nortons Razzle Dazzle Red has raised a total of over $300,000 for life-saving research for the thousands of Islanders affected by heart disease and stroke each year.
"We were so impressed with the generosity of the business community and the individuals who attended Nortons Razzle Dazzle Red," said Kim Griffin, co-chair of the organizing committee.
"Without their support, events like this simply would not happen. On behalf of the volunteer organizing committee and the foundation, I want to sincerely thank our valued sponsors, the many businesses who donated gifts and the Islanders who bought tickets and joined in the fun of the friendly bidding wars. We are ecstatic with the results."
Nortons Razzle Dazzle Red '10 opened with a gala reception followed by a five-course gourmet dinner complete with wine pairings, prepared by the staff and students of the Culinary Institute of Canada and sommelier Jean-SÉbastien Morin.
The Shawn Ferris Trio set the mood during dinner with the help of masters of ceremonies Kirk MacKinnon and Jennifer Evans from Ocean 100.3.
Throughout the evening, guests had the opportunity to bid on close to $35,000 worth of silent and live auction items donated by more than 140 Island businesses and individuals.
Auction items included jewelry pieces from diamond necklaces and earrings to a woman's pendant and ring set with pink tourmaline gemstones; a dream vacation for two anywhere Air Canada flies in North America; paintings and fine furniture by Island artists and artisans; and products, services and gift certificates from Island businesses.
A table-top fundraiser in which guests bid on a mystery Nortons jewelry box on each table saw one lucky guest, Simone Stewart, go home with a diamond necklace.
In addition to title sponsor
Nortons Jewellers, other sponsors for Razzle Dazzle Red '10 were the Pepsi Bottling Group Canada, Coldwell Banker Parker Realty, ScotiaMcLeod, Murphy's Pharmacies, Graphic Detail, Kwik Kopy, Ocean 100.3 and The Guardian.
The volunteer organizing committee members for this year's event said they recognized these challenging times to raise funds and worked diligently to surpass all goals and
expectations for a fabulous event.
Danny Jenkins and Griffin co-chaired the committee and members were Roch Beazley, Angela Campbell, Sandra Lambe, Laura-Lee Lewis, Heather Myers, Betty Praught, Jim Williams and Carol Williamson.