Make Someday Today- What You Need to Know about the Bucket List Gala

by Chris Dias

Netflix star Leon Logothetis on the road with his series “The Kindness Diaries”. Leon will appear as the keynote speaker for The Bucket List Gala Sept.22 at the Prince George Civic Centre

Netflix star Leon Logothetis on the road with his series “The Kindness Diaries”. Leon will appear as the keynote speaker for The Bucket List Gala Sept.22 at the Prince George Civic Centre

A year ago to the month, the Prince George Hospice Society presented their Bucket List Initiative—a first, hoping to be an annual tradition.  Not your typical gala, the Bucket List event, organized by the Society’s executive director Donna Flood in collaboration with UNLTD Media & Events, centres around the fulfillment of dreams. 

Those attending could list three goals in ascending levels of magnitude.  The lowest level, reserved for minor targets, involved those aspirations only requiring simple motivation or a swift kick in the pants.  The middle level escalated the ambition, those necessitating some outward assistance, more than just encouraging words.  These items could involve skydiving or bungee jumping. 

The top tier was reserved for the lofty desire—the one dream we believe to be out of reach, the one goal to define a bucket list.  Outside of being an astronaut or requiring time travel, nothing was out of reach.  Leading up the Gala, the initiative randomly revealed several winners in the lower and middle tiers and fulfilled them.  It was at the Gala itself when one upper tier winner was announced. 

‘A’ level bucket list item winner Angie Lapointe gives hugs after Wood Wheaton Supercentre draws her name.

‘A’ level bucket list item winner Angie Lapointe gives hugs after Wood Wheaton Supercentre draws her name.

Last year, that honor fell to Angie Lapointe, who won a trip to St. Lucia.  Everyone has that one wish.  Meeting a celebrity, climbing an epic keep, visiting a distant foreign land.  We often push aside those distant dreams, held back by the reality of responsibilities or simple procrastination. 

Life moves fast, forcing many of us to adapt rather than plan, thwarting long-term goals, an aspect of the unfortunate unpredictable nature of existence.  For Dirk Finger, devoted family man, his life had settled in a comfortable groove, only for the beast we call cancer to knock on his door.  The initiative stepped in, and with the help of lead sponsors Don Willimont from Wood Wheaton Supercentre, Dirk and his family were given an all-inclusive vacation to Disneyland at the Bucket List Gala. 

The other highpoint of the gala was a presentation and speech by Ben Nemtin, host of the popular MTV series focused on bucket lists—The Buried Life.  The crowd heard first-hand the inspiring story of how The Buried Life grew from a mere idea in a garage to a cultural phenomenon.  The motto that emerged from last year was for the event to be a “catalyst of optimism.”  The gala was an astounding success, raising over $30,000 for Prince George Hospice.  It was a fantastic and emotional evening, with everyone involved convinced such an event had to be repeated. 

And it will.

At the posting of this article, tickets are still on sale from the 2018 Bucket List Initiative & Fundraising Gala.  Like before, each ticket features three blank lines, one for each bucket list goal, from lowest to highest.  Already, lower and middle bucket list items have been awarded, with the top winner to be announced this Saturday.   

Leon travelling the countryside of Montenegro in ‘Kindness 1’ on the route of “The Kindness Diaries”

Leon travelling the countryside of Montenegro in ‘Kindness 1’ on the route of “The Kindness Diaries”

Per this new tradition, the Gala has brought a keynote speaker to mark the evening.  This year features Netflix star and best-selling author Leon Logothetis from “The Kindness Diaries”—a show about sharing compassion and empathy with others, about smiling at the world and seeing what happens when the world smiles right back at you.

Of course, an event like this is also known for making new friends, for enjoying a great meal.  All that pales in comparison to helping others make their dreams come true.  Few of us take the time to envision our dreams, realizing too late to do anything about them.  The Bucket List Gala forces us to remember that we only get a short time with a singular life and it's best we make the most of it, for the betterment of our own lives as well as those around us, both friends and strangers alike. 

 

An initiative this big would not happen without support from sponsors who believe in making a difference. This year sees the return of original sponsors Wood Wheaton Supercentre, Accent Dental, CBIG (Canadian Benefits & Insurance Group Inc.), Pacific Western Brewing, newcomers Pine Centre, and UNLTD Media & Events.

Tickets are still on sale, so get yours now and start dreaming.  Make your list, and regardless if your name is pulled, start planning and stop procrastinating!

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO THE BUCKET LIST GALA

or purchase them at Central Interior Tickets over the phone at 250-596-0020, or in-person at 3540 Opie Crescent, Prince George, BC V2N 2P9

Norm Coyne