Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon’s A Night to Dream Gala
A Night to Dream, the gala that supports Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon, held its 17th event in Vancouver on Oct 4. The gathering, at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, saw business types and big-givers raise $680,000 – a new record, up $200,000 from last year.
The funds from the old-school style event (consisting of cocktails, dinner, an auction and even a raffle) will go toward an important organization that each year helps more than 2,000 families from across B.C. and the Yukon feel at home while their young undergo life-saving treatments in Vancouver. Founded in 1983 with a 13-bedroom home in Shaughnessy, this year RMH BC celebrated the fifth anniversary of its current home, a 73-room house on the BC Children’s Hospital campus. Annually, the house provides accommodations for up to 73 families every night (more than 900 families already this year), who stay for an average of 13 days.
Among the 400 people out at this latest: four-time gala chair Lindsay Turner; RMH BC board chair Patrick McGuinty; financier Gary Segal, chair of the Ronald McDonald House capital campaign, and his wife, Nanci; and Ronald McDonald House CEO Richard Pass.
UNICEF Water for Life Gala
On Oct. 5 in Calgary, the 27th annual UNICEF Water for Life Gala was held, raising an impressive $1.15-million to help ensure children have access to water that’s safe and clean. Since its beginnings, the event has grown to become one of the largest UNICEF fundraisers in North America, raising more than $15-million to date. This most recent was focused on girls, specifically adolescent girls, who live in the poorest regions of Uganda. A staggering 40 per cent of girls in sub-Saharan Africa are not in school, with many dropping out because their teaching institutions aren’t equipped with separate washrooms and washing facilities to help them manage their periods. The funds raised during the event will support water and sanitation infrastructure in schools in Uganda to help keep these children in school.
Taking to the stage during the event was women’s rights activist Taban Shoresh, a Kurdish genocide survivor, whose work supports girls and women affected by conflict and displacement. In the crowd was a long list of Calgary lawyers, energy types and financiers, including Brett Herman, president and CEO of Torc Oil & Gas Ltd., who served as this year’s honorary chair. Also in attendance: lawyer and UNICEF Canada board chair Chris Simard, and his wife, Hanita, who co-chaired the gala alongside Andrea Gerencser; and David Morley, president and CEO, UNICEF Canada.