Fun times and big bucks at Joe's Place Grad Party

Justin Crann
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The guests at Joe's Place had every reason to party Saturday night.

That's because the group — a mixture of Grade 8 and 12 graduates, sponsors, dignitaries and facility staff — were told precisely how much the youth centre means to the people and businesses of Moose Jaw.

During the youth centre's Grad Party, Joe's Place also held a sponsor appreciation night and revealed the funds raised in their second Fly for Free Fundraiser.

"We love to do the multipurpose events," Joe Dueck, executive director of the centre, told the Times-Herald before the celebration kicked off. "What better way to thank our grads than to have a whole bunch of politicians and businesspeople from the community see them, feel proud and clap for them? 

"And again, what better way to thank all of our sponsors than to actually have the youth see who helps run the centre, support it and fund our many programs?" he added. "It's going to be a great night."

Dueck may not have known precisely how great the night was going to be, but when the more than $43,000 raised by the Fly for Free Fundraiser and a $25,000 donation from the Robertson Family Group were announced, everybody in the youth centre had cause to celebrate.

According to one Joe's Place employee, the funds — particularly those raised by the fundraiser — spoke volumes about Moose Jaw's generosity and support.

"It's a real testament to this city actually caring about its youth centre," said Jess Wiberg, business and operations director for the centre. "So many of the people who bought tickets (for the Fly for Free Fundraiser) were saying, 'I'm probably not going to win, but I just want to support you anyway.'"

He said he was "excited to sit down and figure out exactly where we can put (the funds raised)."

"There's so many places where that money could go. … Our roof needs to be redone. Our overhang needs to be redone. We have kids to send to camps and retreats, and building projects … Tuesday night meals, too," said Wiberg. "There's so many different areas it could go to. … I just thank God for the way He put this together and made it work."

Following the announcement, those who were in the dancing mood could indulge their desires when pop-rock band The Color took the Joe's Place stage to play a set drawing from the radio hits of the 1950s through to contemporary hits.

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Grad Party, Times-Herald, Robertson Family Group

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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