Fred UnLEEshed: Feb. 13, 2015

HORSE POWER: Mount Saint Joseph Hospital ushered in the Year of the Sheep in grand style. Once again their annual Scotiabank Feast of Fortune fundraiser, sponsored by the Vancouver Courier, was a sell-out drawing movers and shakers to the multi-course dinner and auction. This year’s affair saw a little more horsepower as party chairs Margaret Chiu, Chris Stepien and Heather Pei Huang, and honorary chairs Grant Lin and Sing Lim Yeo revved up the program inviting Luxury Supercar Weekend creator Craig Stowe to participate in the live auction. Stowe convinced dealers to offer successful bidders to get to the front of the line to purchase luxury vehicles such as a Range Rover, Maserati and McLaren, which has extensive waiting periods of up to three years. No surprise the final tally blew past the traditional $500,000 raised. Proceeds of $728,000 will support the purchase of a new CT scanner for the east side hospital.

BRAIN HEALTH: Margaret Trudeau headlined the B.C. Brain Injury Association’s annual Cocktail Fundraising Gala. Torrential rain did not deter guests who filed into the Winsor Gallery to hear from the celebrated Canadian and mental health advocate. The 67-year-old recounted her struggle with bipolar disorder, its challenges and her journey to get help. Joining Trudeau was fellow speaker Ellie Ennas, who shared her own story of recovering from a brain injury sustained in a car accident that almost killed her. The evening of inspiration, chaired by Liz Baron and Susanne Sherwood, brought together health professionals, advocates, educators and survivors focused on raising $40,000 to support the province’s brain injury community.

MAXIMUM EXPOSURE: Vancouver boasts some of the world’s top photographers. Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace and Stan Douglas are among a group of artists known internationally for their canon of photographic art. Given the city’s burgeoning photography scene, Kim Spencer-Nairn founded the Capture Photography Festival. The night marked the launch of the festival’s new “Mini” Artist Editions series. Fittingly held at Mini Yaletown, artists Danny Singer, Scott Massey and Birthe Piontek displayed and sold limited editions of their generally larger-than-life photographic works to support the April 2 to 29 festival of photography.

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