Sidney fundraiser draws Salt Spring Island artist Robert Bateman

Rest Haven Foundation gala set for Thursday, Feb. 26.

Robert Bateman will be in Sidney for a special fundraising event for the Rest Haven Lodge Foundation on Thurs.

There’s a gala evening planned this month in support of the Rest Haven Foundation — and their special guest is Canadian artist Robert Bateman.

An Evening with Robert Bateman has been in the works for weeks, part of the Foundation’s recent efforts to raise money and awareness for programs and supports at Sidney’s Rest Haven Lodge for seniors.

Foundation executive director Brenda Hennigar says the gala is part of their efforts to bring some enjoyable events to the community — while helping them out at the same time.

Last summer, the Foundation staged the first Sidney Bed Races event that filled Beacon Avenue with colourful costumes and crazy contraptions.

They also held a Walk With Your Doc event last May to help promote better health. Residents of the Lodge have also been going to Panorama Recreation Centre to learn to swim and get some low-impact exercise.

“We are so excited to have Robert Bateman in our own backyard and agree to come to our event,” Hennigar says.

The goal is to sell 150 tickets, she continues, and anticipates exceeding that.

Hennigar says the Lodge’s director of care and her husband were at an event that Bateman was attending and managed to ask him about coming to Sidney. A few weeks later, he confirmed he’d be here.

“And it took off from there.”

An Evening with Robert Bateman takes place Thursday, Feb. 26 at the Mary Winspear Centre, starting with a book signing and cocktails at 5:30 p.m.

Hennigar says Bateman will sign books — older ones and his new titles (copies available there, provided by Tanner’s Books) — to start the night, followed by a silent auction.

She says they have various prizes, such as two tickets to anywhere Westjet flies in the world, to resort stays and more.

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., accompanied by two slide shows — one on the history and activities of Rest Haven Lodge and the other on Bateman’s work.

Bateman will be the featured speaker after dinner.

Hennigar says he will talk about his career, life’s milestones and his important work on getting children to interact with nature.

Hennigar says she’s pleased with how the community has responded and the support being offered for the Foundation.

For tickets or for more information, call the Rest Haven Foundation at 250-656-0717, ext. 428.

Tickets are also available at the Mary Winspear box office,  at marywinspear.ca or by calling 250-656-0275.