GLOWING H’ARTS: The Lookout Emergency Aid Society is a non-profit organization that has been working to meet the needs of the homeless since 1971. Each year, the society hosts H'Arts for the Homeless, its annual fundraiser at the Imperial Lounge in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Orchestrated by Deanna Knight, the ninth staging saw party guests support the organization’s efforts to raise funds and address the growing opioid crisis. Once again, eight local artists put their best work forward, creating paintings throughout the evening. Before the paint was dry, the pieces were auctioned off at the end of the night. Proceeds — reported at almost $65,000 — will be used to address the public health emergency, said Shayne Williams, who addressed several hundred guests. Having a safe and stable home is a key foundation that helps support individuals to move away from substance use, added Williams.
WATER WORLD: The Port of Vancouver, Canada's largest port, plays an important role in the region by delivering economic prosperity through trade, maintaining a healthy environment and enabling thriving communities. Every year for the past 17, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, along with five major port terminals — Port of Vancouver, Global Container Terminals, Fraser Surrey Docks, Western Stevedoring, and DP World Vancouver — come together to support communities where they work, live and play, and to make a positive and lasting impact. Some 250 guests filed into the Westin Bayshore Hotel for the 18th edition, hosted by yours truly. Led by Robin Silvester president and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the night of networking, fundraising and camaraderie resulted in $250,000 for three local organizations: the Downtown Eastside’s Mission Possible, North Shore’s Harvest Project and South of the Fraser’s Reach Child and Youth Development Society.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Since 2004, CLICK (Contributing to Lives of Inner City Kids), a community-based, volunteer-driven charitable foundation, has been helping support poverty-stricken children. From humble beginnings, the charity has raised almost $500,000 and directed funds to more than 350 different programs that support children and youth living in poverty in areas that include food security, out-of-school care, literacy, sports and recreation, and arts and culture. This year, CLICK aims to fundraise $100,000 to help more kids succeed. To support its efforts, the organization presented its third Dinner to Make A Difference, held at Robbie Kane’s Café Medina. Led by gala chair Brenda Penton and CLICK co-founder Catherine Atyeo, the event featured yours truly as master of ceremonies and welcomed 60 guests who convened for the charity dinner and auction. The inspired night of storytelling and philanthropy raised nearly $35,000.
KIDS FRONT AND CENTRE: Giving kids a lift one ticket at a time, Kids Up Front hosted its flagship fundraiser at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. The Halloween-themed affair led by Lori Braha and Jenna Visram was sponsored by Coast Capital Savings. The $200-a-ticket dinner and auction had many fundraising treats for patrons to put their names to in support of Kids Up Front’s efforts to provide kids and families access to sports and recreation, arts and culture and city attractions with the goal of inspiring them and letting them see a world of possibilities. Yours truly handled the auction duties, with a Vancouver Whitecaps FC suite hosted by soccer icons Bob Lenarduzzi and Carl Valentine garnering the night’s top bid. Founded in 1999 by John Dalziel, the national effort has distributed more than 1.6 million tickets, providing kids and their families priceless memories.
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