Fred UnLEEshed: Feb. 27, 2017

Fred Lee celebrates with women entrepreneurs, First Call B.C. and Best of the City

PITCH PERFECT: Tara Bosch of Smart Sweets bested two other finalists to win the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ inaugural Pitch for the Purse. With a gummy bear-mold purchased from Amazon, Bosch created the first smart candy aimed at revolutionizing the way consumers look at traditional confectionary candy. The 23-year-old’s pitch of healthy, sugar-free candy to celebrity judges Frank Giustra and Jacki Zehner earned her $25,000 to jumpstart her company. The contest was part of FWE’s 15th Odlum Brown-sponsored anniversary celebrations staged at the Hotel Vancouver. Premier Christy Clark joined 600 of Vancouver’s top female entrepreneurs and business leaders for the fundraiser and networking event that generated more than $500,000 for the organization’s various mentoring programs to help female entrepreneurs in B.C. and across Canada become wildly successful.

TURPEL-LAFOND FETED: Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s former Representative for Children and Youth, was feted at First Call’s annual fundraiser. Fraserview Hall was packed with more than 700 guests who gathered to celebrate Turpel-Lafond’s work during her 10 years as the province’s leading advocate for children. Turpel-Lafond was awarded First Call’s Champion for Child and Youth Rights Award. Singing her praises was a non-partisan group of speakers including Mary McNeil, former Minister of Children and Family Development, MLA Melanie Mark and Grand Chief Doug Kelly, president of the Stó:lo Tribal Council. The night also raised much-needed funds to ensure First Call’s continued efforts to put B.C.’s youth first. First Call is a non-partisan coalition of more than 95 provincial and regional organizations working collaboratively for the betterment of children.

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EDUCATING GIRLS: Ching Tien is changing the lives of hundreds of girls in rural China. Tien — denied an education in her youth — founded Educating Girls in Rural China (EGRC) back in 2005. It's goal is to give girls in the rural areas of China the opportunity for an education that many of the girls and their families cannot afford. What’s more, in a system where boys are favoured, it is usually the young girls who are denied access to an education. Tien has seen the girls — nearly 700 girls to date — flourish thanks to the support of her charity. The girls of EGRC have an impressive 99 per cent high school and university graduation rate, says Tien. She once again hosted her annual fundraiser to support her organization’s efforts to help more girls. A capacity crowd filled Sun Sui Wah for the dim sum luncheon, which yours truly emceed. Through the efforts of all people involved, the noon-hour event cooked up more than $50,000 to give 50 more young women a brighter future.

BEST OF THE BEST: Best of the City, the brainchild of Vancouver Magazine, features the city’s top restaurants and winemakers. (It was formerly known as Big Night.) The night of taste testing includes craft beer. Featuring exclusive creations from chefs Rob Feenie and David Hawksworth, it's also a fundraiser for the B.C. chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a leadership culinary organization composed of women who have not only achieved success in their professions, but who wish to give back. Proceeds from their raffle of 91 exquisite bottles of wine was a smashing success as proceeds raised enough monies to support a student scholarship for any woman wishing to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

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

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