Fred UnLEEshed: Aug. 3, 2017

RAISING A GLASS: Community leaders Kevin Mazzone, Ryan McKinley and Gary Serra helped kick off Vancouver’s Pride festivities on the right note. Their annual Pride Cocktail Party staged at the Loden Hotel raised nearly $50,000 for the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. Held at the downtown property’s penthouse suite, the event saw business and community leaders partying with a purpose, enjoying the views and food and drink while raising funds to support innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre located in the city’s West End. Executive director Maxine Davis was on hand to thank le beau monde that convened for the sixth installment to imbibe and celebrate the work of the centre, dedicated to caring for HIV-positive British Columbians who are at risk of poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addictio or social isolation. Among the services the Centre provides: a day health program, a 24-hour specialized nursing care residence, and a supportive housing program. Since its inception, the summer soiree with generous support from the Loden Hotel and the Lazy Gourmet has raised more than $175,000 for the charitable foundation.

CHEERS TO A GOOD CAUSE: The Dr. Peter Centre is also the beneficiary of the first ever Pride Crawl. During Vancouver’s month of Pride festivities, more than 45 of the city’s finest restaurants and bars will be concocting special Pride cocktails to toast the annual celebration of diversity and inclusion, with partial proceeds going to the centre. Among the list of establishments confirmed: the Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, CinCin Restaurant and the Opus Bar.

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OPUS 15: After 15 years, the Opus Hotel remains Vanhattan’s quintessential boutique property. The Yaletown property of 96-plus stylish rooms continues to attract hipsters, rockers and business people alike. Benefiting from its trendy location and hip Opus Bar, the hotel still oozes a cool vibe attracting the city’s top merrymakers. Recent updates of its muse-inspired rooms give this popular destination even more personality. Showcasing its vibrant design, sophisticated style and intuitive service, the property recently swung open its Davie Street doors for a celebratory bash to mark its 15 years of creativity. Opus Hotel’s brand director Katherine Evans welcomed 300 guests — influencers, social mavens and the city’s who’s who — that made the red carpet parade, first mugging for photos in front of the hotel’s new Love Me wall mural by Vancouver artist Cathy High before enjoying delicious food and drink from the hotel’s winning bar and highly acclaimed La Pentola Restaurant. For the fifth consecutive year, Forbes Travel Guide has honoured the property with its prestigious four-star designation.

CLUB LEADER: Breakfast Club of Canada has been nourishing children’s potential by making sure as many of them as possible have access to a nutritious morning meal before school. From humble beginnings, the club now provides daily some 250,000 meals to schools in Vancouver and nationwide. Daniel Germain launched the club 23 years ago, and the social entrepreneur has made it his sole mandate to provide a healthy breakfast to grade-schoolers and high school students who are apt to begin their day without the important meal. According to Germain, one child in five is at risk of starting school on an empty stomach. In Aboriginal communities, the ratio is one in two. Germain was recently in Kelowna to shine a spotlight on the Breakfast Club of Canada’s fourth annual Shooting for the Stars benefit held at Mission Hill Family Estate. Joining him was Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, one of Canada’s notable Aboriginal athletes and Breakfast Club of Canada’s biggest cheerleaders. The net-mindingsuperstar and his wife Angela were the special guests of the lavish luau yours truly emceed. While Price spent much of the evening meeting with fans, signing autographs and posing for photos, guests returned the favour in spades donating an impressive $250,000 to the national breakfast program.

Hear Fred Mondays 8:20am on CBC Radio’s The Early Edition AM690 and 88.1FM; Email: yvrflee@hotmail.com; Twitter: @FredAboutTown

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