Shamrock Shimmy’s back

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On March 17, Airdrie will dress in green and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day to benefit an important local charity at the Airdrie Food Bank’s 14th annual Shamrock Shimmy at the Town and Country Centre.

According to Lori Rehill, event manager for the Shamrock Shimmy, the event includes a dinner and dance, as well as live and silent auctions.

“We hope people will get their St. Patty’s spirit on and come out and support an excellent cause in our community at the same time,” she said.

All proceeds from the event will help fund the food bank’s general operations, with money going to the hamper and school programs.

Rehill calls the fundraiser a critical event. With only five per cent of the food bank’s funding coming from the government, she said fundraisers like the Shamrock Shimmy enable the food bank to continue its work in the community.

Funds raised through the Shamrock Shimmy make up approximately five per cent of the food bank’s overall operating budget, Rehill said. While that percentage seems small, it translates to a significant sum of money.

“In previous years, between sponsorships and donations and ticket sales, there’s significant money raised,” Rehill said.

“After all of our expenses were paid last year, the total profit was over $35,000. That’s significant in terms of contributions to the overall budget for the Airdrie Food Bank.”

She added the organization hopes to surpass last year’s total, but is also aware families in Airdrie continue to struggle economically and might not be able to donate.

Rehill noted there are two ways members of the community can support this year’s Shamrock Shimmy. The first is to purchase tickets, attend the event and bid on auction items. The second is to sponsor the event or donate auction items. As they prepare for the event, volunteers are canvassing local businesses to sponsor or donate auction items. Letters have also been sent out to key partners with the same request.

“We have wonderful, dedicated volunteers who have done this in the past and some new volunteers who are out and about canvassing the city. For the most part, we have received a very positive response from our community,” she said.

“Every little bit does help.”

Tickets are available for sale both at the Airdrie Food Bank and online at airdriefoodbank.com, at a cost of $50 per person or $350 for a table of eight.

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