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Hope Lives 2024

Years ago, a small Rising Above staff and 100 guests met in the upper room of the Curling Centre which marked our first-ever Hope Lives Banquet. Little did we know we would welcome nearly 800 guests a little over a decade later...

It seems each year, we get a little bigger, raise a bit more, and spread more hope. As we move toward constructing an additional facility, we are comforted knowing we have the support and backing of our incredible community!

Today is April 9th, and we are still experiencing the warm afterglow of the 2024 Hope Lives Banquet. We wanted to share some fantastic highlights captured by Northern Exposure Photography from the night of the banquet and recognize those who helped to make this event possible!

Caleb Barkman

Image of Caleb Barkman's Spoken Word by Northern Exposure Photography.

We wanted to take time to recognize the individuals and businesses who have paved the way for us to host another Hope Lives Banquet with the goal of raising awareness and funds for Rising Above and also to spread the message of hope.

First and foremost, we had a sponsor team of 23 businesses this year. WOW!! We are so deeply thankful for the support of our local business community.

Title Sponsor: Burke Calibration

Room Sponsor: TARA Energy Services

Audio Video Sponsor: Western Event Rentals

Helen Harder - RE/MAX Grande Prairie

Daniel Cram - Realtor at Sutton Group Grande Prairie Professionals

LED Services

Green Acre Ventures

Landis Family Foundation

Iron Pine Contracting

Industrial Recycle Ltd

Spray Arc Ltd.

Melbern Holdings

Elite Oilfield Services

Pro-Clean Wash & Steam Inc.

Sheer Illusions Grande Prairie

Nor-Lan Chrysler

Fulcrum Group Chartered Professional Accountants

Bobbi Dawson RE/MAX Grande Prairie

MSCJ Ventures Ltd.

Above The Storm Counselling

Oliver's Funeral Home & Crematorium

New Horizon Co-operative

Crooked Creek Store

6 String

Image of Six String Sergeant Band by Northern Exposure Photography.

Did you know the Hope Lives Banquet has an entire committee dedicated to the planning and execution of the banquet? These individuals are integral to the Hope Lives Banquet and often remain behind the scenes, quietly working away. But we can tell you this, our committee is anything but quiet! There have been times when a Rising Above staff member has had to come and shut the door to the boardroom where we meet because we were laughing too loud! Needless to say, this committee knows how to have fun and get stuff done!

Graphics: Ashley Flavelle

Décor: Leslie Giesbrecht

Silent Auction Team: Yvonne Loewen, Ann Parsons, Andrew Dyck, and Emily and Jerome Goertzen

Tickets and Tables: Rhonda Short

Vice Chair: Mel Siggelkow

Chair: Stephanie Hudson

In the coming weeks, we will share our annual committee photo with you!


Raichelle Cardinal image by Northern Exposure Photography.

This year's program was jam-packed with various musical numbers, skits, testimonies, presentations, and updates. We want to warmly thank everyone who dedicated their time and talents to Hope Lives!

Rising Above speakers: Elsie Egotak, Chance Campbell, Scott Topely, and Margery Vachon

Entertainment: Six String Sergeant, Raichelle Cardinal, Linnae and Julia Biegel, Shanda Fuller, Caleb Barkman, Rory Tarant and performers (primarily consisting of former Rising Above participants), and our 40+ volunteers for the cardboard testimonies

Auctioneer and assistants: Ray Binks, Eugene Auclair, and local dignitaries

Photographer: Lauren Farrow with Northern Exposure Photography

Pastor: Andrew McGregor of Grande Prairie Alliance Church

Cardboard Testimony

Cardboard Testimonies image by Northern Exposure Photography. 

On top of this, we had upwards of 40 individuals helping in various capacities on the night of the banquet. And you know what the cool thing is? Everyone was a volunteer. Even the engraved stones we presented to Peterborough and Fort St. John were done free of charge. When the companies discovered the organization behind the request, they simply waived the fees!

Western Event Rentals and the TARA Centre were our service providers, and although not free, they made every effort to accommodate our needs where they could. If there were ever an “entertainment dream team”, they would be it!!

Let’s not forget our amazing silent and live auction donors, with well over 100 donated items to put toward the live and silent auction! The silent auction portion of the hall was absolutely beautiful with countless items donated from members of our incredibly supportive community.

Shanda Painting

Shanda Fuller Painting image by Northern Exposure Photography.

We want to give a special shout-out to the amazing woman who spent the entire evening painting in front of our guests – Shanda Fuller of Shanda Fuller Fine Art and Jewelry. Shanda says the banquet is one of the highlights of her year, and we can say the same about her coming and painting for our event year after year! It’s not something anyone can do, but Shanda does it with ease and always creates striking masterpieces that go to auction at the end of the evening!

We often say we can’t do what we do without you, which couldn’t be truer. The banquet is such a special time of year for us because we get to visually see our community in action. We get to see individuals who have been equipped with various talents and skills come together to make something beautiful. 

Our main goal of the Hope Lives banquet is right in the name. Hope Lives. It is our mission to help individuals see that hope indeed lives and that everyone has a chance to experience it through Rising Above Ministry. This year, we raised a record-breaking $354,196.55!! These funds will enable us to continue helping people break cycles of defeat. Thank you for believing and supporting the work we do. Together, we are changing lives!

If you feel led to support Rising Above in some way, we would love to connect with you! Please reach out to Stephanie Hudson by calling 780-533-3025 or email

Hall View

Categories: Events