Just like a big game, hours and hours of work have gone into the preparations for the 4th Annual Gryphon Football Gala Dinner. Now we are really just waiting for the “kickoff” on Saturday. The doors open and the cocktails start being served at 5:30 pm at the Delta Guelph Hotel & Convention Centre. From all indications there will be a record number of University of Guelph football alumni in attendance.
No doubt the growing alumni numbers are in part because of the Keynote Speaker – Kyle Walters – and his Winnipeg Gryphon cohorts – Mike O’Shea and Pat Tracey. From what I hear they will be taking full advantage of this trip to Ontario. It’s not only a chance to see family and friends but Pat Tracey will be working out some potential kickers and punters at Alumni Stadium earlier in the day. At least on this visit Tracey no longer has to worry about a Gryphon blocking a Queen’s punt.
In fact, Jake Reinhart, who scooped a blocked punt and scored the last time Tracey’s former Gaels team played in Guelph, won’t be there. The timing of the Gala doesn’t work out well for Argonaut-affiliated Gryphon alumni such as Chris Rossetti, Tom Bryce and Reinhart. They will all be in Florida for the Argos mini-camp. Another recent grad who won’t be in attendance is Lucas Meschino. I’m sure he’d love to be there but thanks in large part to these video highlights Meschino is in Sweden where he will be playing for the Gavle Red Devils.
Another tough group to get out at this time of year are Aggies. In early May there are always plenty of crops to be planted, as well as orchards and vineyards to be tended. One BSc-Agriculture grad who is making the time to be there is Donald Ziraldo. The famous winemaker and entrepreneur will host a wine tasting table where he and his wife Victoria will share some of the fine products of the Ziraldo Estate Winery. Worth noting, rather than accept the standard white table wine the organizing committee arranged for the Delta to put a bottle of Ziraldo’s 2012 Reisling on every table.
On a similar note, the Wellington Brewery will also be letting Gala guests be among the first to sample their new Gryphon Gold beer that will go on sale in June.
On-line ticket sales for the dinner ended Monday. I’m not saying it is impossible to get a seat but you’ll have to contact someone with connections like Dan Crabbe – email@example.com or Randy Dimitroff – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I assume rooms are still available at the Delta since I heard from several people who just booked them yesterday. You may have to call the Delta Guelph directly at this point in order to get the $112 room rate. Just a rumour … but the Delta’s world-wide reservation call centre may tell you that it isn’t available.
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The latest video from Winnipeg – Kyle Walters talks about the upcoming CFL Draft this morning: