A fundraising event for Foothills SNAPS at Lynnwood Ranch Friday night raised nearly $21 thousand.

The non-profit, dedicated to supporting community families undergoing stressful situations, hosted donors for "If Only" An Evening with Theoren Fleury.

The evening promised a key note speech by the former Flames captain, as well as silent auctions for donated items, live auctions with an auctioneer for larger items, a 50/50 draw, and door prizes.

Fleury has been doing speeches for years in the wake of his shocking autobiography "Playing With Fire," which detailed his years of sexual abuse as a minor hockey player, and the addictions he struggled with in his NHL career.

Despite Fleury's traumatic past, his message focused on hope and healing, giving audience members an opportunity to connect on subjects that people often feel too ashamed or afraid to openly discuss.

Orvella Small, Executive Director for Foothills SNAPS said Fleury's message dovetails perfectly with their organization's mission.

"His message was very simple, in the work that he's doing for himself and for others, is to take that healthy path. When we support families, we support them in the same way. We try to ease the stress and the strife of what they're going through by making things simpler for them, instead of so complicated," Small said.

Fleury's speech advised people to focus on themselves when coping with traumatic events and emotions. Activities like going for a walk, or taking time to build relationships, are among his tips for how to build a healthy life after experiencing trauma.

Small reiterated Fleury's message that community members need to ensure they are taking care of themselves when they are struggling with life's pressures.

"One of the messages he tried to make clear too, was it's about you. And how you're going to make it work for you. Not about how other people are going to do it for you. You have to figure it out and get whatever support that you need along that journey to make that happen," Small said.

In addition to the $14 thousand raised by ticket sales, donations, and the auctions, Birdies for Kids pledged to match up to 50 per cent of the total for the event, bringing SNAPS' fundraising total to $21 thousand.

The event is a great start for the non-profit, which is hoping to raise $50 thousand this year.

The next Foothills SNAPS fundraising event will be the ninth annual Leather 'N' Chaps Riding for SNAPS Motorcycle Poker Rally in July.

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