Fred UnLEEshed: Feb. 24, 2016

GALA SHINES: Building on the success of the inaugural event, this year’s De Beers Time to Shine Gala proved to be brighter and more sparkly as the extraordinary evening of philanthropy netted the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation $1.7 million towards the creation of an Interventional Hybrid Operating Room at Vancouver General Hospital. Gala chair Alice Chung fronted the sophomore edition of the charity dinner, sponsored by De Beers Jewelry. Security was visibly tight at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel as the lobby dripped with magnificent diamonds on display. More than 350 well-heeled guests enjoyed a string of breathtaking performances and a royal repast before emptying their designer wallet and purses of much cash. Three diamond pieces from the De Beers Aria Collection fetched a jaw-dropping $145,000, but the highlight came when the crowd stepped up and matched the $400,000 put up by Chung and her husband, David, Ian Gillespie of Westbank and Jason and Emily Ko of Viva Pharmaceutical.  

BOLLY GOOD SHOW: The inaugural Bollywood Ball raised well above its initial million-dollar goal. The Hellenic Centre was transformed into opulent Imperial India of the 1920s for Surrey Hospital Foundation’s debut-do in support of a dedicated retinal operating room at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. Sponsored by Bausch + Lomb and led by party chair Harv Phandal Dhanda and chief of surgery Dr. Hugh Parsons, the event saw more than 400 guests gather for the lavish production of song, dance and philanthropy. Guests were greeted with custom spice market cocktails created by renowned bartender Alex Black before settling in for a banquet dinner of Indian delicacies and regional ingredients. A live auction of luxurious proportions propelled the results beyond the $1 million mark.

FOOD BIZ: More than 550 outstanding business leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs gathered for Forum for Women Entrepreneurs biggest night. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver hosted the memorable evening that tapped into the city’s growing food revolution. David Hawksworth, Frank Giustra and Christine Day headlined the Odlum Brown and Telus sponsored Epicurious affair. Hosted by Monika Deol and Robin Gill, festivities included a panel discussion with the night’s keynote speakers, followed by a sumptuous dinner and special tribute to businesswoman Bev Briscoe, a longtime Forum for Women Entrepreneurs supporter and mentor. Proceeds from the night of networking, noshing and fundraising supported the organization’s efforts to educate, energize and empower women to become wildly successful entrepreneurs.

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