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The donor: Kirsty Thomson

The gift: Raising $100,000 and climbing

The causes: Victoria Women’s Transition House and Dance Victoria

A few years ago, Kirsty Thomson was having a drink with a friend when she started musing about doing something for charity.

Ms. Thomson is a financial adviser with Raymond James Ltd. in Victoria, and at first she thought about holding an event with her clients. But she quickly broadened the scope and began organizing a larger fundraiser that would be affordable for donors yet still make a real difference to a local non-profit organization.

Her first event, which included a fashion show, was held nearly four years ago and it raised $10,000 for Victoria’s Women’s Transition House, an emergency shelter for women escaping domestic abuse. The next year, Ms. Thomson teamed up with Dance Victoria as well, and the company’s dancers modelled the clothes. That event raised $30,000 for Dance Victoria and Women’s Transition House. Last year, Ms. Thomson went even bigger. She held the fundraiser in a ballroom in the Fairmont Empress Hotel, drawing around 200 people and attracting a range of sponsors. She raised $60,000 in total for both organizations and plans an even bigger show this October, all while keeping ticket prices below $100.

“If you’d asked me four years ago if I would ever have foreseen this happening, I would have said you’ve got rocks in your head,” said Ms. Thomson. “It’s just morphed into this fabulous, positive … it’s just been a great experience.”

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