The Unlocking Potential Foundation’s 8th annual UP & Away Charity Gala May 4 will raise funds to support Catholic Family Service’s Affordable Counselling Program.

The gala’s theme “Answering the Call, Offering Hope” reflects CFS’s commitment to respond to a call for help within 24 hours. No one is turned away because of finances – clients who proceed with counselling are asked to pay what they feel they can afford.

This barrier-free counselling service – unique in Calgary – experienced a 20 per cent reduction in funding in 2016, said Patricia Jones, CEO of the UP Foundation and Catholic Family Service.

“Counselling is often paid through employee assistance plans and most of the people we serve do not have plans,” Patricia said.

“Because of widespread job loss in Calgary, we have seen many people who never thought they would need to access our services. We want to be able to answer their call and provide hope to their families whenever they need us. Help can’t ‘wait’ when someone takes that very brave step to reach out.”

Guest speaker Sheldon Kennedy, founder of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, will share his personal story of vulnerability, emphasizing how important barrier-free, coordinated and professional services can be to families in crisis.

Master of Ceremonies Linda Olsen of Global Calgary will lead the festivities, which include a banquet dinner at Stampede Park, a first class silent and live auction, and exciting raffles. Tickets are $175 each or $1400 for a table of eight.

Thanks to Gold Sponsor Bennett Jones LLP, as well as several new and returning silver and bronze sponsors, the gala is your chance to get behind Calgary families while having a lot of fun.

Catholic Family Service has a long history of providing professional counselling services in the Calgary community. In fact, the agency is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2017.

“Personal and family counselling have been central to what we do at CFS since 1957,” said Patricia Jones, CEO. “Too many Calgarians are carrying the burden of mental health or relationship issues alone.   We want to support people to live the lives they have always wanted, not add to their distress through prohibitive costs and waiting lists. We are happy to help.”

We invite you to join us at the 2017 UP & Away Charity Gala or support us through sponsorship or donations of silent auction items. For more information, please contact Jessica Williams, Managing Director of Stakeholder Relations, at 403.205.5222 or