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Raising a glass to change lives

February 13, 2018
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SMS Equipment’s Annual Wine Auction in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo (BBBSWB) is an event many people in Fort McMurray have circled on their social calendars for months. This past September, we celebrated our 8th Annual SMS Equipment Wine Auction by not only reaching our fundraising goals but exceeding them.

The sold out event, held at the Shell Place Grand Ballroom at Macdonald Island Park, helped raise over $105,000 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo. Organizers of the event were truly pleased with the evening and humbled by the amount of proceeds that were donated by the guests. “It was the first time we have officially SOLD OUT 10 days before the event” said Joanne Angel-Andrusiv, the Executive Director of BBBSWB. Andryia Browne, Owner & Creative Director of Events with Vizability added, “So many people commented to me that this was their favourite Wine Auction yet – including long time guests that have been attending the event since the first year.” Brianne Oke, chair of the BBBSWB Board stated, “We have not exceeded our fundraising goal since 2012; it is exciting that despite the current economic climate the people of Fort McMurray continue to give back to the community.” This generosity helped to bring the event fundraising net total to over $105,000.00.

Organizers and guests felt that the event provided them with an amazing networking opportunity, while being able to mix and mingle with both old acquaintances as well as make new connections. All who attended enjoyed live Latin music on the Suncor Stage and took the time to sampled exceptional wines from around the world. The Manitoulin Wine Pavilion, a new addition to this year’s event, helped set a tone of excitement as guests enjoyed sampling unique wines with the opportunity to purchase bottles to add to their own personal collections.

Every year is a good year. 

The SMS Equipment Wine Auction began in 2010 and has raised over $550,000 which has positively impacted 604 children and youth in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. We’re very proud of our contribution and the mark we’re making on future leaders in the Fort McMurray community. The funds raised from the SMS Equipment Wine Auction help meet the demand for BBBS programs by individuals and schools to ensure that every child who needs a mentor has a mentor.

The SMS Equipment Wine Auction is also known for its uniqueness when it comes to wines and for raising spirits within the community. In 2016, following the Fort McMurray Fires – we were the first large non-fire related recovery event to take place after the evacuation and one of the very few successful events to be held that year. Whether, the event is showcasing a 1932 bottle Massandra Madeira that was hidden during the WWII era to a rare 51-year-old Bordeaux to a fine old whisky from 1978, every year the SMS Equipment Wine Auction offers guests a unique experience and the opportunity to give back to the community.

Specialty wines on display at the silent auction table

Our people define us. And so do the events that we sponsor.

We’ve often said that just like a great wine, the SMS Equipment family only gets better with age. We’ve celebrated some amazing successes over the years, and this year was no exception. SMS Equipment’s slogan, “Our People Define Us,” truly shows what our company is all about, and it’s why we’re so honored to be a part of this event, because the SMS Equipment Wine Auction is also about a community of great people, coming together to share and connect, to learn about and enjoy some of the finest wines available from across the globe and to make a difference in the lives of our youth in Fort McMurray—youth that represents our future.

Thank you again to our hosts, our organizers and our team of volunteers who have once again made all of us at SMS Equipment proud.

For more event images, please click here.