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Celebrating Women, Making a Difference

For an entire evening, the Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford was filled with the sights and sounds of girlfriends having an elegant night out. The first annual Galentine’s Day – a Starry Night Fundraiser for Matthew’s House was held here on February 13th and was a resounding success. Bernadette Maguire of Sequel Events Inc. organized the event and was thrilled with the results.

“We were able to bring together women from the Fraser valley to show their support for Matthew’s House,” she says. “I think we left them feeling inspired and excited to celebrate being women and using their influence to make their community a better place to live.”

Matthew’s House supports families by providing quality care in a beautiful homelike environment to children living with complex care needs. The Galentine’s Day event was an opportunity for women to get dressed up, join their friends for a special evening and support this vital resource to families.

The evening included appetizers and desserts catered by Klassic Catering and specialty coffee from Jack Coffee. Guests enjoyed taking fun photos at the Swanybooth and had an opportunity to bid on a wide variety of silent auction items. A fashion show was presented by Below the Belt and there were door prizes donated by several local businesses.

Several women of influence gave inspiring speeches. Laura Ullock, resource development assistant for Matthew’s House, thanked Maguire and Sequel Events for putting on the event in such a beautiful location. She also shared the story of Alexander, one of the young people who visits Matthew’s House.  She reminded guests how important it is to support resources right in their own community.

“For Alexander’s parents, having Matthew’s House in Abbotsford is a gift. It means they can do things with each other or with his siblings and not have to worry about his well-being,” she said. “They tell us that Matthew’s House has been life-changing for them.”

The event was emceed by Jody Belanger and Kyla Getty the editors of I Like Her Style Vancouver. Other speakers included Velma Braun, wife of Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun; Tara Teng, former Miss World Canada 2012 and human rights activist; and Jenna Liesch, pastor’s wife and mother to a child with complex care needs. Each woman spoke about the way other women had influenced their lives and the power that women have to change the world. Maguire appreciated each woman’s participation and was particularly inspired by hearing a mother share her story.

“Having Jenna share about her journey with their son and how their family benefits from organizations like Matthew’s House got me pretty choked up,” Maguire says. “It reminded me that fundraisers really can make a difference for families like Jenna’s.”

The women who attended the event received that message with enthusiasm. The event raised nearly $5000 and plans are already underway for an even bigger event next year. Maguire is grateful for all those who sponsored, volunteered and helped in any capacity.

“I was reminded again of how many amazing women and businesses there are in our community, all of whom were so willing and eager to help,” she says. “I’m looking forward to doing this again next year!”

(Photography by Julie Christine Photography)

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