Two hundred guests, 20 Team members, 12 weeks’ preparation, two really big bottles of booze, and over $10,000 raised for Kwantlen’s President’s Ambassadorial Team’s very own Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Friday evening proved to be a huge success for the PAT: Our second annual fundraiser, held at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, essentially tripled the total raised at last year’s event. Our toonie toss was a profit machine, our 50/50 raffle saw one lucky guest walk away with $928, and the all-you-can-eat buffet kept everyone happy and well-fed. Plus, our goodie bags were a hit, and the fast-paced horse-racing, and betting, kept everyone entertained.

Planning an event can be incredibly stressful, but when most of the problems you have to deal with are relatively positive, the only thing you can do is take a deep breath and smile: We ran out of seats because too many people wanted to attend, we barely had enough table space for our silent auction items because so many generous businesses supported our endeavour, and not every PAT member got the opportunity to participate as much as I’m sure they would have liked to, because the ones involved were just too good at what they were doing.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m walking away from the evening with a lot of pride for what we managed to pull off.

I’m also walking away having learned several life and event-planning lessons: Some I learned the hard way, but others I’ve discovered after having had some time to reflect on the whole process.

But at the end of the day, the purpose of the event was not only met, but exceeded. The PAT is now well over half-way to meeting their original $20,000 goal. So really, the fun is just beginning: A third annual event would definitely get us past that mark, and then we get to hand out scholarship money to another generation of students, and maybe even future PATs. For me, that’s the best part.

In the meantime, a shout-out to my irreplaceable current PATs, and wonderfully supportive friends and family. “The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.” — Margaret Carty