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HELPING KIDS SOAR: It has been a while since the Vancouver Canucks found themselves in the playoff race. As the team heads into the final stretch, and despite key injuries, they are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt. Canuck Nation can be forgiven for being a little giddy at the prospect of a May run.
Diehard fans recently packed the Parq Vancouver ballroom to cheer on the young team and to support the franchise’s annual Dice & Ice Charity Gala. Players and senior brass once again suited up for the evening of fundraising and casino games.
Players manned the gambling tables, while the club’s top four — Elias Petterson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Jacob Markstrom — mugged with fans. The 19th staging of the event would score a healthy $650,000 for executive director Alex Oxenham’s Canucks for Kids Fund. Now in its 33rd year, the fund has granted more than $59 million to over 130 B.C. charities supporting children’s health and wellness. This year’s beneficiaries included Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Canucks Autism Network and B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ Pitch for the Purse Gala
PITCH PERFECT 3: For the third consecutive year, The Fiore Group’s Lara Dauphinee and Odlum Brown’s Christina Anthony chaired the Forum For Women Entrepreneur’s Pitch for the Purse Gala.
Founded by Anthony 17 years ago to help female entrepreneurs become wildly successful, the education, networking and mentoring program has helped some 650 women annually across Canada. Addressing one of the key challenges female entrepreneurs face — access to capital — more than 700 guests, from business moguls, venture capitalists and leaders of industries, packed the Hotel Vancouver ballroom for the finale of the third Pitch for the Purse competition.
Finalists Jessica Oblak, Patrice Mousseau and Sonia Strobel pitched their enterprise to would-be investors and celebrity judges Amar Doman of the Futura Corporation and Kate Ross LeBlanc, co-founder of Saje Natural Wellness.
Mentored by Fort Capital Partner’s Ali Pejman, Strobel’s Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery, a fish to table sustainable seafood subscription service where home cooks pre-purchase an annual share of the catch directly from B.C. fishing families, would reel in the top prize of $25,000. FWE also netted a sizable catch from attendees. Awaiting results, the capacity crowd would empty their wallets of some $870,000 and change. Leading the way was Peter and Joanna Brown. Their $90,000 sparkplugged the record setting night to help more women succeed.
Surrey Hospital’s Celebration of Care Gala
HOSPITAL CELEBRATION: Surrey Hospital’s fourth Celebration of Care Gala was one for the record books. The James Bond To Surrey With Love party certainly lived up to its name as residents showed their appreciation for their hospital and world leading care raising a reported $5 million.
Fittingly the hospital’s very own James Bond, chief of thoracic surgery, led the charge, co-emceeing the gala-do with radio broadcaster Nira Arora and yours truly. More than 600 guests looking their Bond best made their way to Surrey’s Aria Convention Centre for the black-tie evening of martinis, music and fundraising mayhem.
Licensed to thrill, a 10-lot live auction ignited the evening of giving. Trading his scalpel for a chef’s hat, Bond’s invitation to cook dinner for eight would garner an impressive $30,000. Exotic trips and a two-hundred-litre barrel of single malt whiskey donated by Central City Brewers and Distillers would also net similar results.
As always, the biggest moment of the night came during the call out for cash. Understanding the importance of providing Surrey Hospital’s 68 surgeons with state-of-the-art, cutting edge equipment for its 10 operating rooms, community leaders stepped up with an avalanche of donations ranging from $1000 to $500,000. Leading the way were Jeff Wubs, founder of Westland Insurance, The Berezan Group’s Ralph and Lorraine Berezan and Surrey Hospital chief of staff Dr. Cal Andreou. Other agents of change included David and AnnaLisa McFarlane, Dr. Hugh Parsons, Anita Law, Darryl Frost, Surrey Firefighters Charitable Foundation and Surrey Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.