Any organization that survives 115 years of active membership deserves a party. And, that’s what the #41 Port Perry High School Army Cadet Corps got on November 30 to celebrate their anniversary. Theirs is the fourth-oldest of 450 Cadet Corps across the country, formed on November 28, 1898.
The Gala Dinner and Dance, held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 419 in Port Perry, ON, featured a catered four-course meal, dancing and a late night buffet. Tickets for the formal event sold out, and organizer Darlene Hlozan says it “has provided us with enough funds for the busing and most meals for our cadets’ upcoming activities for the 2013/2014 training year.”
The seven-year program is open to youth between the ages of 12 and 19. Army Cadets are joined by Sea and Air Cadets in their commitment to physical fitness, academic greatness, citizenship activities and volunteering. The Cadet Program seeks “to contribute to the development and preparation of youth for the transition to adulthood, enabling them to meet the challenges of modern society, through a dynamic, community-based program.”
Cadets test their personal limits while learning outdoor skills such as marksmanship, orienteering, camping and survival skills, trekking and mountain biking. Greater experience will lead to greater challenges like parachuting, white-water rafting and glacier-climbing. The scope of the program also includes events which connect cadets to their Canadian heritage, musical training, cultural outings and international expeditions.
Organizers had announcement cards and posters printed, and the posters “were graciously displayed in the windows and bulletin boards of our local businesses, service groups, and organizations.” Hlozan adds that they mailed posters and announcements with a letter giving more information about the cadet program, posted on their Facebook page and “promoted the event personally to everyone we spoke with or met with over the course of two months leading up to the event.”
The work was certainly worth the effort, as Hlozan says: “this Gala Anniversary Celebration was over the top! Everyone who purchased tickets was extremely pleased from beginning to end. We had an event decorator completely transform our legion, a caterer that served incredible food, and a fantastic DJ. We have already had several attendees say they will be attending next year, even though this was a special anniversary celebration and the next one will be in 10 years!”
Hlozan believes that first-time formal event planners can benefit from having high-quality promotional materials. “We had never organized an event such as this, and were a little intimidated in the beginning. The tickets were classy and elegant, as were the posters and announcements,” she explains. “Our entire committee was ecstatic at the quality and impressiveness of everything! It helped to ease a little of the anxiety we were experiencing, in ensuring our audience understood the nature of our formal event. We had already put feelers out to local business contacts months before, so reconnecting with them for the final details was much smoother.”