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Martini Night shakes up cocktails for a cause

By Célina Ip, The Daily Observer

Ladies and gentlemen are invited to strap on their dancing shoes and dress to the nines for a night of charitable fun.
The third annual Martini Night will be kicking off on Friday, March 10 at 8 p.m. at Dineamics Restaurant in downtown Pembroke.

As in years past, the fundraising gala will give attendees the chance to kick back, relax and enjoy a night of cocktails and dancing in support of great causes.

“Every year we donate the money to a different organization or group. Last year it was Project Welcome through which we raised money to bring a Syrian refugee family to the Valley. With the help of Martini Night, we raised enough money for them to live here for a year and they’ll be coming here really quickly,” said Marianne Minns, Martini Night organizer. “We raised just under $50,000 of which $10,000 was raised through Martini Night.”

This year, proceeds from tickets will go towards benefiting two local non-profit organizations.

One portion of the proceeds will go towards the Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH) Foundation’s ‘Cutting Edge’ campaign that will bring the hospital’s surgical floor to the 21st century.

“We’re fundraising to upgrade the surgical floor because the patient rooms are circa 1950 and it’s the only area in the hospital that hasn’t been renovated yet,” said Nancy Warren, PRH Foundation executive director. “The whole campaign is $2.5million in total with $1.5million for the renovations and furnishings of the surgical floor and another $1million would be for the new orthopaedics program that we’ve just started up.”

A second portion will support the newly founded Peaceful Path Yoga Project that aims to offer free yoga and meditation to under-served community members in an effort to build resiliency, empowerment and accessible health and wellness for all.

“Peaceful Path is a new non-profit and I serve as a chair along with nine board members, a few social workers and teachers. All of us are big practitioners of yoga and we’re hoping to raise money to be able to bring yoga and meditation to vulnerable members of our community – so people who otherwise couldn’t afford yoga,” said Shannon MacLaggan, executive director of the Peaceful Path Yoga Project and owner of White Pine Yoga.

Further to PRH and Peaceful Path, $500 from the funds will go towards an Algonquin College nursing bursary.

Minns encourages everyone to buy tickets before they sell out to enjoy a fun night of partying in support of two causes that are close to her heart.

“White Pine Yoga is my saviour and the hospital is the community’s saviour so I like combining the two,” said Minns. “My mom and my family has used the hospital lots and I have a lot of friends who work there so I’m happy to be supporting them.”

MacLaggon, who has also been offering assistance towards the planning and fundraising of the event, echoed Minns sentiments.

“We just really find this community to be so wonderful and everyone really comes together in the spirit of community and we just kind of want to celebrate that through this Martini Night,” said MacLaggon. “With this night, we take something like friendship and fun and music which we funnel into causes that are really important and that just ripple out into the rest of the community.”

While mixing and mingling with fellow party-goers, live music will be provided by local rock act MidLife Krisis and Crazy Arms Band who will be making their grand debut that night, delicious appetizers will be dished out by the chefs of Dineamics and party-goers will be able to score some spectacular prizes during the silent auction.

Tickets are $25 and include admission to the event as well as appetizers and the choice of a martini, beer or cocktail.

To purchase tickets or donate to the silent auction, call Marianne Minns at 613-732-6622 or the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation at 613-732-2811 extension 7408. Tickets can also be purchased at Dineamics (185 Pembroke Street East), White Pine Yoga (72 Pembroke Street West) or Algonquin College (1 College Way). To reserve a table at Dineamics for the party, contact the restaurant at (613) 732-7521.


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