One of the most popular auction items at the Vancouver Canucks Dice & Ice annual charitable event are the themed player gift baskets.
For the last nine years, Michelle Di Tomaso of Bella Gift Baskets in Vancouver has been curating and wrapping the baskets, donating her labour and supply costs for the event.
“I’m so happy to support such an important fundraiser,” she says. “It’s important for me to give back to the community.”
Individual players pick a theme and donate items that Di Tomaso then elegantly packages together in a gift basket that includes personalized elements, such as the player’s number in the basket’s bow.
One of her favourite Dice and Ice Canucks baskets was put together bythe coaching staff a few years ago. It was a team duffel bag filled with the team training apparel, used play sheets, coaching books, autographed items, and to finish it off, a box of bright pink Original Bubblicious, a brand of gum the coaches were famous for chewing during games. It was brilliant!
Proceeds from Dice & Ice benefit the Canucks Autism Network and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, two charities Di Tomaso feels strongly about. She’s also involved with the Pink Shirt Day Ladies Luncheon,a program that focus on anti-bulling and violence prevention. This year it was sponsored by Coast Capital Savings at the Blue Water Café in downtown Vancouver. Di Tomaso designed all the centerpieces for the tables with a stunning pink flower arrangements for the sold-out event.
During her recovery from breast cancer, Di Tomaso took a floral design course and became interested in working with flowers. She was able to put her new-found flower powers to good use when designing the arrangements for this sold out luncheon, which raised $60,000 to be used for kids' programs focusing on anti-bullying & violence prevention.
“It’s an event that touches my heart personally and I was lucky to be a part of it,” says Di Tomaso.