Fred UnLEEshed: Oct. 26, 2016

SWEET DREAMS: Ronald McDonald House has been providing accommodation for seriously ill children and their families for more than 30 years. In 2014, the foundation opened two new Houses: a 73-bedroom house on the grounds of BC Children’s Hospital, and a four-bedroom house within urrey Memorial Hospital. To ensure the doors remain open at both houses — homes away from home for children receiving care in the Lower Mainland — the firm staged its flagship fundraiser A Night to Dream Gala. Sponsored by the Beedie Group and CRS Group of Companies, the 15th running was a black-tie affair drawing a well-heeled crowd to the lavish dinner and auction. A meet and greet with Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Reynolds had paddles wagging. The exclusive rendezvous with the Deadpool star garnered $40,000, contributing to a reported $415,000 hauled in.

HOT MEALS: Since 1967, Care B.C. has operated the Meals on Wheels program in Vancouver and Richmond delivering on average 500 nutritious meals and friendly visits to some 1,200 homebound people weekly. Yours truly along with auctioneer Howard Blank fronted the charity’s eighth annual Meals on Wheels Fundraising Dinner. Board chair Tom Chambers and executive director Inge Schamborzki welcomed a capacity crowd to the 10-course fundraising dinner and auction held at the Victoria Chinese Restaurant. A luxury trip to Japan fetched the night’s top bid of $10,000, closely followed by a Fireman’s Dinner, which raised $9,000. The biggest highlight however came when attendees were invited to simply make a gift. Donations ranging from $100 to $1,000 flooded in contributing to the $60,000 netted. Thanks to an army of volunteers, 112,000 meals — including a Chinese Meals on Wheels program — are served annually.

YOUNG SPROUTS: Yours truly along with CBC colleague Margaret Gallagher hosted Growing Chefs’ seventh annual Farm to Forks Harvest Party, staged at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Some 120 supporters attended the ultimate kitchen party, which raised more than $20,000 towards the charity’s Classroom Gardening and Cooking Program giving children hands-on experience growing and cooking their own healthy, nutritious food. More than 47 classrooms in B.C. benefitted thanks to the support of more than 150 chef and community volunteers. Monies generated will play a crucial role in helping achieve the Growing Chef’s goals to reach more than 1,500 B.C. children.

MARKET VALUE: Eight top chefs headlined Ripe 2016, the Vancouver Farmer’s Market’s signature soiree.  Clement Chan of Torafuku, Meeru Dhalwala of Vij’s Rangoli, Ned Bell of Chefs for Oceans, Quang Dang of West Restaurant, Deniz Tarakcioglu of Cafe Medina, Karen McAthy of Blue Heron Creamery, Ryan Reed of Nomad, and Shelome Bouvette of Chicha served up delicious tasting plates showcasing the best of local ingredients from farmers and producers. A party with a purpose, the foodie fete held at the Roundhouse Community Centre aimed to raise $25,000 to support the organization’s healthy eating program – coordinated by the BC Association of Farmers Markets –providing fresh produce to low income families in Metro Vancouver.

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