Hope was in the air Saturday night at the 13th annual gala dinner and auction for the Rotary Club of St. John's Northwest.
The event was a fundraiser for Salvation Army's Centre of Hope, as well as Hope Air, a charity that arranges free flights for financially disadvantaged Canadians to get the health care they need.
Dean Brinton, chairman of the campaign to raise money for the $14-million Centre of Hope project, said the Springdale Street facility will help the region's most vulnerable people.
"It's going to have a food bank, it's going to have a medical clinic, it's going to provide meals and clothing and various programs," he said.
Eddie Vincent of the Salvation Army said $6 million has been committed already, and Saturday's gala marks the launch of a campaign to collect the remaining $8 million. A $250,000 donation from the Rotary Club has the Salvation Army well on its way.
Brinton said the centre will be crucial for many people in coming years.
"Newfoundland and Labrador has had a remarkable decade of growth and prosperity, and right now we're getting into some tough times. I think we all know that," he said.
"So to have a facility like this, I think, is really going to be a pivotal thing in the lives of a great many people."
The evening included a speech by George Furey, speaker of the Canadian Senate, a performance by comedian Trent McLellan (who's from Corner Brook) and was emceed by CBC's St. John's Morning Show co-host Anthony Germain.
Music during the silent auction and dinner was provided by Kelly Ann Evans and Brian Way.