Abbotsford's Crystal Gala women have done it again and staged one of the community's most exciting and entertaining productions on Saturday.
The Crystal Gala Foundation's 14th annual affair sold out as usual and brought the elegance and glamour of the New York stage with its Bright Lights of Broadway theme to the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre.
The gala, an anticipated annual event with its trademark elaborate decor, food and entertainment, raised more than $130,000 in support Fraser Valley women and families who suffer the effects of breast cancer.
Gerri Charles, chairwoman of the event and one of the gala's founders, said the evening was a great success.
"It was really fantastic. Man, we had a good time," said Charles.
"We've been doing this a long time but this time there was a special energy . . . people wanted to party the minute they walked in the door."
Guests got into the theme of the night as some women donned fringe dresses and kiss curls while a number of gents sported fedoras and pocket watches.
The entertainment and dance acts reflected the theme of the night with songs and stylings from Broadway classics such as Ain't Misbehavin, Chicago and Cabaret.
Former TV news anchor Pamela Martin was popular as master of ceremonies for a second year in a row.
"She's a hoot," said Charles.
"She feels so at home with us and loves the community and is taken with us and the cause."
Martin is always amazed at the generosity displayed by the community of Abbotsford, added Charles.
Those attending the gala are giving, but so are the numerous volunteers that make the event a success, noted Charles. Members of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service in full uniform acted as valets and helped out during the silent auction. Members of the tax advisory company, KPMG, also donated time to make the event a success.
The gala was the brainchild of a group of women who first gathered around a kitchen table years ago and decided to do something to contribute to the fight against breast cancer.
To date, the Crystal Gala Foundation has raised more than $1.25 million.
From those funds, $1 million has been committed to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, resulting in the naming of the Crystal Gala Breast Health Unit.
Just in time to celebrate at this year's gala, Charles and Crystal Gala co-founder Dorothy Dyck both received Queen's Diamond Jubilee medals along with 31 other outstanding Abbotsford citizens on Friday.
The foundation is already thinking about next year and is anticipating a landmark event.
"Next year is our 15th anniversary and we are going to have one big party," said Charles.