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FACE TIME: Society doyenne Jacqui Cohen pressed pause on her always-lavish Face the World fundraiser. Instead of welcoming the well-to-do to her annual house party, this year the philanthropist turned her attention to her Army & Navy Stores’ 100th-anniversary festivities.
Started in 1919 by her grandfather Sam as the first discount retail business in Canada, the five-store chain remains family-owned with Cohen at the helm since 1998.
The Army & Navy president and CEO welcomed the city’s who’s who to her Cordova Street department store to help kick off the week-long celebration at each of her stores in Vancouver, Langley, New Westminster, Edmonton and Calgary.
Concord Pacific’s Terry Hui, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant NDP MLA Melanie Mark, ICBC chair Joy MacPhail and entrepreneur JJ Wilson were among notables who joined long-term staff, suppliers, neighbouring business owners and friends to offer Cohen, her mother Marlene and daughter Kasondra congratulations and to raise a glass to the family’s 100 years in business.
Jack’s Place, the iconic department store hot-dog stand renamed to honour Jacqui’s father, drew a crowd as grilled cheese sandwiches and hotdogs were de rigueur, served along with homemade tuna and egg salad finger sandwiches.
A party with purpose, 100 reprints of an original Army & Navy painting created by John Ferrie were offered for sale, with proceeds going towards Cohen’s Face the World Foundation and its ongoing efforts to help charitable organizations on the Downtown Eastside and abroad.
Since its inception, Cohen’s fundraising efforts have raised more than $18.5 million for some 400 local charities, many serving disadvantaged women, children and seniors. Cohen will reprise her celebrity-laced party in 2020 in time for the event’s 30th anniversary.
Courage To Come Back Awards
COURAGEOUS WOMEN: The 21st annual Courage To Come Back Awards drew 1,700 people to the Vancouver Convention Centre, raising an extraordinary $2.4 million to support people living with mental illness.
For the 14th consecutive time, Kingswood Properties Ltd. president Lorne Segal steered the fundraising dinner that honoured five remarkable women in Geri Williams, Kathryn Palmer, Erin Emiru, Harriet Ronaghan and Taylin McGill. Rising above adversity and overcoming unfathomably difficult circumstances, the wonder women were lauded for not only coming back but also giving back to their communities.
“My recovery was a very long, tiring and slow process,” said Ronoghan, awardee in the physical rehabilitation category.
Coming out of a three-month coma following a devastating car crash, Ronoghan was robbed of her mobility and independence. She painstakingly had to relearn to eat, talk and walk.
To inspire those affected by trauma, Ronoghan shared her story of strength and recovery with others. “It brings me joy to see how my story can help and inspire others,” she said.
McGill, the award recipient in the youth category, perfectly captured the unifying quality of this year’s recipients. “Our attitude, when faced with adversity, defines who we are,” she said in addressing the packed ballroom filled with many of B.C.’s most notable business leaders and philanthropists.
Major gifts from Joseph and Rosalie Segal, Colin Bosa, Concord Pacific, Snider Foundation, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction and others contributed to the event’s second largest tally to date. Since its creation, the awards dinner has raised more than $18.5 million.
Monies raised will go directly to Coast Mental Health to support programs and services helping more than 4,300 clients living with mental illness. As a critical link between hospital services and B.C. communities, Coast Mental Health provides housing, support and employment programs and services for individuals affected by mental illness, making lasting recovery possible.
A Rosewood Reflections reopening
SHOW OF LOVE: A spring mist didn’t deter party spirits as a fortunate few made the invite list for the reopening of Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s Reflections Garden Terrace, one of the city’s beloved outdoor spaces. Hosted by Zahra Salisbury, whose family runs the five-star property, 150 of her well-to-do friends, business colleagues and social influencers managed to stay dry under the partially covered and tented outdoor space, imbibing in free food and drink while looking forward to the warmer days ahead.
Salisbury will be soliciting a similar crowd to support her B.C. Women’s Hospital fundraiser on June 13. After hosting Sparkle, the hospital’s summer soiree at her home for several years, and then her brother Azim’s downtown penthouse last year, Salisbury has enlisted BFFs Monica Soprovitch and Anna Bosa to co-chair and her West Vancouver neighbours Shirin and Oliver Bock to offer up their waterfront home.
Renamed Dazzling Love, this year’s tickets will go for $1,500 a pop, making it the toniest ticket of the season. With a limited number of tickets, the society darling is banking on a whole lot of love.
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