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On Friday, April 29, Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre held its 22nd annual Evening of Decadent Dessert fundraiser at the Pidherney Centre. The success of this event demonstrated, once again, the incredible community support for Aspire and a mission to provide hope to children with special needs, the families who love them, and the communities who care for them.

“Evening of Decadent Dessert is the largest event within our annual fundraising efforts,” says Michelle Moore, chair of Aspire’s Board of Directors. “This year, we raised a net of $123,694 from the event, which is very close to last year.”

At the end of the evening, draws were also made for the Aspire Children’s Raffle, another annual fundraising activity. “The raffle raised $34,151, so Aspire raised a total of $157,845 between the two fundraisers,” says Moore. “This is an increase over last years’ combined total, and we are encouraged by the way the community came together during a difficult year. The funds raised go directly to support Aspire programs, scholarships and specialized equipment purchases.”  

Guests enjoyed an evening of dinner, raffles, entertainment, and an exciting live auction of spectacular cakes. Dinner ended with a dessert buffet of delicious treats provided by local bakers and restaurants in Central Alberta. “We want to thank our generous guests, donors, and sponsors, as well as the local bakers who worked so hard to create the brilliant cakes, which are the showcase of the evening,” says Moore. “And, of course, the night wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated team of more than 70 volunteers.”  

Evening of Decadent Dessert also provides a chance for community members to learn more about Aspire, and hear the stories of local families. “There was tremendous energy in the crowd, and the presence of past and present families, sponsors, and Aspire Staff made the night extra special,” says Michelle Sluchinski, executive director. “Telling the story of Aspire through families’ experiences makes this a very emotional evening. Our supporters really pulled together, and the resulting funds raised will have a direct impact on children with special needs and their families.”