Jana Gainor (left) took a moment out of the busy night and posed for a photo with me (Ruth Lloyd). She was one of the three friends who made up my “dream team” of helpers who organized and ran the fundraising event on Saturday

Fort St. James, what a night!

There were cocktail dresses, delicious appetizers and some local talent, making for a fabulous night in Fort St. James.

There were cocktail dresses, delicious appetizers and great company, as well as some incredible local talent, making for a fabulous night in Fort St. James.

The Cocktail Party Fundraiser on October 8 filled the local legion pub to capacity, as I raised money for an internship in Bolivia.

The internship is to travel to Bolivia to document a locally-developed project funded by International Bridges to Justice working to help pre-trial detainees mired in a flawed justice system.

I was raising money for the internship through the event on Saturday night, and it was a huge learning experience for me, and many of those involved.

We learned we really can’t be in two places at once, and as we scrambled to get the appetizers heated and served, someone else would have to manage the door and sell tickets, thankfully, in true Fort fashion people stepped up and pitched in. But despite a few bumps along the road of life, the night went fairly smoothly, and I even managed to speak on the microphone, which I hadn’t done before, without a complete loss of my powers of speech.

Overall, the night was a resounding success, with the legion making excellent sales and the event selling out in tickets, and the incredible range of silent auction items showing how amazingly generous people in the community can be.

The performers were phenomenal, with Bill and Ingrid Phillips performing some bluesy songs to start things off, despite Bill being in considerable pain due to a bad back.

Mel Chesnutt and Jason Cooke surprised the audience with their set of songs sung by Mel and accompanied by Jason on guitar.

But Annie Thatcher, whose beautiful voice is well-known to many in the community, blew the roof off with her set, and ended to a standing ovation.

My mother, Lesley Lloyd, and my aunt, Sylvia Harry, also both came up to support the event. My mom brought some great silent auction items to add to our list as well, and in the end we had a broad range of incredible things to bid on, from a hula hoop and lesson to amazing arts and crafts, to passes to Murray Ridge Ski Area.

In total, the event raised around $3,000 towards the costs of my internship, but more than that, it amazed me once again at how this community can truly get behind something and make a difference.

My great regret of the evening, however, was that I didn’t manage to get any photos myself.


It was a night to remember and it left an impression, thank you Fort St. James.