Yellow Hat gala focuses on late-president’s priorities
Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 06:00 am
Planning is coming along for Stephen’s Backpacks Society’s upcoming Yellow Hat Gala May 4.
According to Nancy McPhee, executive director of Stephen’s Backpack Society, the all-ages event will have a special focus on children.
“We have tried to gear this whole evening around things that were very important to our president, James (Jim) McPhee. Children were incredibly important to him,” McPhee said.
Kids are invited to bring a sleeping bag and backpacks to Apple Creek Golf Course for a Star-Wars themed evening including pizza, activities and a showing of a Star Wars movie downstairs, while adults enjoy a meal, silent auction and live music upstairs.
Along with the announced activities, McPhee said there will be some surprises for the evening, revealing one of them.
“You’ll actually meet some of the families who have received our backpacks,” she said, “which I think is a really unique and wonderful thing to add to the evening.”
Backpack recipients have been interviewed for a video to be shown at the gala, and will also be in attendance. McPhee said it has been emotional hearing the impact the charity has had on Airdrie families.
“I think it’s really important that we educate people that there’s kids right here in our community, right here in the surrounding areas, that are very excited to receive a pair of socks,” she said.
“I think our children who get so much can take a message from that.”
The event will take place on the one-year anniversary of Jim’s death. He passed away on May 4, 2017 after a 14-year battle with cancer.
At its regular meeting Oct. 2, 2017, Airdrie City council proclaimed May 4 Yellow Hat Day, and will illuminate City Hall in yellow.
McPhee said preparations for the event have revealed the hole left in the community by Jim’s passing.
“I’ve spent this week interviewing people who knew both of us, of course, and I must say it’s been very humbling, very emotional to hear our mayor speak of our president and my wonderful husband the way he did,” she said.
“It just solidifies in me the importance of the cornerstone that Jim made supporting his son in this charity, that the legacy will live on.”
Tickets for the gala cost $20 for children and $40 for adults and are available at stephensbackpacks.com
Yellow hats are also available for purchase at businesses around Airdrie. The purchase of a Stephen’s Backpack yellow hat will enter you into a draw for $1,000 in groceries from Superstore.
All proceeds from the event will go towards children and families in need, through Stephen’s Backpack Society and Soap for Hope YYC.