Pearls of Wisdom gala a sea-soned affair
A night out at the Blue Pearl for the Pearls of Wisdom gala dinner has become a mainstay in the Mount Royal College calendar. The atmosphere was light and jovial and the main gym at the MRC Recreation complex was transformed into a cool blue restaurant destination
The night’s “Miami Martini Lounge” theme inspired the night to be a casual and fun affair even though the business of the evening was to raise money in support of scholarships and bursaries for Mount Royal College students.
The mood may have been light, but this was no light-weight affair. Some big names showed up in support of MRC including former Premier Ralph Klein, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology Doug Horner, Alberta Justice Minister Allison Redford and Health Minister Ron Liepert leaving little doubt that this was a big night that meant a lot to the college.
“If we do not provide the support for (students) … you are missing the possibility of Canada’s next great leader … and that’s a risk that I don’t want to take.”
— Mount Royal President Dave Marshall
“What a fabulous evening. When you get 400 of Mount Royal’s friends together all emptying their wallets, to support students … it’s a pretty good night” said MRC President Dave Marshall, decked out in a casual fedora and sunglasses, and going “sockless” in his loafers.
The president made the evening’s importance perfectly clear saying “If we do not provide the support for (students) … you are missing the possibility of Canada’s next great leader … and that’s a risk that I don’t want to take.”
In this its 12th year, the “Blue Pearl” provided guests with a culinary festival of fresh East Coast seafood the likes the average Albertan has never experienced. This is a get-in-there-with-your-hands adventure with freshly chucked PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia oysters and fresher-than-fresh lobster right out of the Atlantic.
Rodney Clark and his team from “Rodney’s Oyster House” in Toronto brought the feast to the Pearl. A squeeze of lemon and a dash of Tabasco were all that was necessary to make the flavours come alive. As good as the oysters were, it was the lobsters that seemed to steal the show. Hot from the water, the crimson crustaceans were paraded out to the centre-table and with exacting skill and dexterity the critters were parted and cut so that every morsel could be enjoyed.
“Just a few days ago, those lobsters were in the water. four days of fishing by four boats brought those in. They’re fresh, and those are the most sweet and tasty lobster that I’ve ever had. Really special and it’s all due to Rodney,” Marshall said.
The meal is the draw of this event and the full attendance started the funds rolling in. Tables of eight or 10 were sponsored and many were snatched up by members of corporate Calgary. The Royal Bank of Canada, title sponsor for the evening, bestowed their prestigious scholarship upon Bachelor of Arts student Ashlee Kitchenham.
After dinner, the succession of three raffles progressed the giving. Raffles for $50, $250 and $500 per ticket gave patrons the chance of winning a beautiful reminder of the evening. Strings of fresh water pearls, ear rings and a stunning diamond necklace were up for grabs, all of which were donated by Fleetwood Wholesale Jewellery. The ultimate prize piece for the evening was worth more than $11,000.
The evening was a rousing success for the Mount Royal College Foundation, said Marshall.
“We know that the benchmark is high and that’s what tonight is all about … to get to that benchmark and make sure we can be the best undergraduate university in Canada…”
For more on the Mount Royal College Foundation click here.