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Gala helps kids afford summer camp

by LAUREN REICHENBACH
Staff Writer | February 3, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — It’s time to pull that fancy dress out that’s been hanging in the back of your closet for years and put it on for a night of fun at the annual Bear Paw Gala, being held this year at the Sandpoint Events Center.

Bear Paw Camp, located just across the border in Newport, Wash., is hosting its third annual black-tie fundraiser Feb. 17 with the goal of raising funds to sponsor children who are unable to pay their own camp fees. Bear Paw Camp hosts a number of events throughout the year, from regular youth summer camps to weddings.

The gala, which will begin at 5 p.m., will be filled with laughter, dancing and delicious food and desserts. A photobooth, silent auction and art gallery will be available for guests to mingle throughout when the doors open.

At 6 p.m., dinner will be served and nationally-recognized comedian Bret Hollis “will take the stage with the goal of making you laugh till you cry.”

Then comes the real fun.

“Come 7:00 pm, we'll kick off our first fundraiser event,” staff said. “The dessert dash — in which you pick a designated person from your table to sprint to the desert table and choose the most delectable treat for your entire table. Pro tip — ladies, just take off your high heels. The comedian doesn't need any more material.”

Following the theatricals of the dessert dash will come a live auction. Have your wallets ready, as this auction will only consist of the top 10 donated items.

“Let's just say, some are exotic hunting trips, others are ventures in far off lands, while others are highly-desired musical art pieces featured in recent news,” staff said.

After the fundraising activities, the dance floor will be open to all in celebration of the number of children who will now be able to attend camp due to the generosity of those in attendance.

Individual seats are being sold for $125, while couples can purchase two seats for $199. Entire tables — eight seats — may be purchased for companies for $1,000.

Visit bit.ly/3UoOJvZ to purchase seats, donate an item for the auction, or to make a donation without attending the gala.

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