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Gish team cooks up more than a meal

When Jason Dabbagh turned in his teacher's hat last week, he wore another one that was part head chef and part four-star general.

When Jason Dabbagh turned in his teacher's hat last week, he wore another one that was part head chef and part four-star general. He wanted his Grade 6 Logos class to help raise money for the Haiti relief effort through World Vision so he and the kids thought about holding a bake sale. Then Dabbagh told them to think bigger.

The end result was a fantastic three-course lunch put on for almost 100 people in the gymnasium at Elmer S. Gish school last Friday. The paper plates and plastic forks did nothing to detract from the experience or the cause.

Originally, Dabbagh set a target at bringing in $1,000 from the ticket sales and the auction items. So many people showed interest that he then bumped up the goal to $2,000. A week later and the final tally has well surpassed that mark.

"We hit over $4,000," he enthused. "We're just waiting for a few of the [payments for silent auction items] to come in."

With the federal government's matching assistance program, this means that more than $8,000 will go to help with World Vision's relief efforts in Haiti.

Dabbagh couldn't be more positive of the result. "Fantastic! People stepped up; it was really impressive."

He suggested the team effort was long and arduous but well worth it for him and his students.

"Some of the schoolwork got pushed aside but these are life lessons that the kids will take with them and have for a long time."

While he is still wrapping up the last details of the gourmet lunch fundraiser, Dabbagh has already started thinking about doing it again when the time is right. "I think that in St. Albert we have a lot of resources, and with resources comes responsibility. I think we can accomplish some great things."

Friendraiser gala hits high note

January isn't over yet but the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation has already accomplished a quarter of its fundraising goal for the entire year. It's all thanks to its 18th annual Friendraiser Gala held last Saturday at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Edmonton.

Events co-ordinator Doug Campbell called it a resounding success with more than $50,000 brought in from the gracious community patrons in attendance. Some of the highlighted auction items included a wild game dinner for 20 and a ride in a vintage Russian jet.

"That was the best one we've ever had," he said. Campbell added that not only did they raise more money but there was also an increase in attendance over previous years.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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