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RAPTORS RAPTURE: B.C. Women’s Hospital champion and at-home Sparkle event founder Zahra Salisbury enlisted gal pals Anna Bosa and Monica Soprovich to chair this year’s B.C. Women’s Health Foundation benefit.
Renamed Dazzling Love, attendees demonstrated that in spades, generating more than $425,000 for a newborn screening program at B.C. Women’s Hospital. One hundred well-heeled guests shelled out $1,500 each to attend the posh David Hawksworth-catered house party in West Vancouver.
Hosted by Shirin and Oliver Bock, the couple opened their just completed waterfront home to an impressive group of industry leaders and philanthropists who made the hospital hootenanny. They included Paulo and Clara Aquilini, Sean and Saeedeh Salem, Hamid and Arya Eshghi, David and Christie Garofalo, Vern and Nicole Milani, Paul and Devina Zalesky, David and Jill Lyall, Martin and Michelle Weinberg, Lorne and Melita Segal, Richard Jaffray,Chris Catliffe, Jill Schnarr, Christi Yassin, Clara Agopian, Jacqui Prokopanko, and Annabel St. John.
Held on the same night as the NBA Finals, the fundraiser quickly became a viewing party. The formal program took a pause while attendees’ attention were glued to the massive wall mounted television to catch the final quarter of Game 6 between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors. Fundraising festivities would resume following Toronto’s triumphant win.
The historic championship bolstered party spirits. Celebratory bubbles flowed as freely as cash donations. The Bocks would lead the charge with an $80,000 gift. Others would follow suit leading to the record haul for B.C. Women’s annual summer soirée. Everyone was rewarded with a special performance by Canadian musician Gowan. The 80s sensation played his greatest hits to cap off a most memorable night.
Clara and Paolo Aquilini and Christie Garofalo were among hospital benefactors that contributed to B.C. Women’s newborn screening program. Photo: Fred Lee.
Richmond Hospital Foundation golf tournament
TEEING OFF FOR HEALTH CARE: A drive for better health care also saw the Richmond Hospital Foundation bank $288,000 from their latest efforts. A full field of players — donors, sponsors, and community champions — came together for the hospital’s annual golf tournament. Sponsored by ASPAC and held at Richmond’s Golf and Country Club, committee chair Iain Hunt welcomed players and non-players to the sun-filled day of camaraderie and philanthropy.
Following the day of golf, players were met by non-players at the clubhouse’s 19th hole where an awards banquet and host of fundraising games awaited. The fund-a-need portion of this year’s event focused on the Richmond Hospital Intensive Care Unit and the urgent need for new kidney machines. Gifts from the room would ultimately seal the purchase of two new-state of the art kidney machines. Purchasing outright one of the two life-saving machines for the hospital were longtime supporters Michele Cupit and Lisa Greczmiel.
Their generous gift came on the heels of another transformative gift of $5 million the local family recently gave to go toward the construction of new operating rooms, to be named the Greczmiel Family Surgical Centre, to be housed in Richmond Hospital’s new acute care tower.
“A very big thank you to all of our generous sponsors, vendors and donors whose contributions helped us surpass last year’s record total,” said Hunt. “The commitment we witnessed this year, and every year speaks to the role that local health care plays in all of our lives and the importance we attach to it.”
First United Church Golf for the Homeless
TAKING A SWING AT HOMELESSNESS: Another sellout, 144 players of all abilities took in the Golf for the Homeless charity golf tournament in support of First United Church and its work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Created by Rev. Bob Burrows and social worker David Kimpton, this year’s 12th staging led by Elizabeth Kerklaan and Joanne Barker would net a record $110,000 to help the less fortunate in one of the country’s poorest neighbourhoods. As always the event is a major church fundraiser to support the work First United provides to the area’s down and out. They include meals, health care, legal advocacy, social housing and emergency shelter.
With knowledge Vancouver’s homeless count is at an all-time high, First United participants hit the greens of the University Golf Course to make some green. Fundraising games of chance, food and drink at various holes and a fun-filled night back at the clubhouse fuelled participants.
Greeting everyone was First United’s Rev. Carmen Lansdowne. She along with former CBC Radio frontman Rick Cluff presided over the fundraising dinner, while yours truly handled the auction duties. Connecting with church clients, volunteers and ministry staff, guests ultimately opened their hearts and wallets, resulting in the record-setting haul. Since its inception, the divine day of golf and inspiration has raised more than $700,000 for First United Church.