MISSISSAUGA, Ont. ― Hundreds of donors, volunteers and sponsors from the foodservice and hospitality industries donned their finest threads Saturday night to raise money for Concord, Ont.-based Friends of We Care, a non-profit organization that sends Canadian children with disabilities to Easter Seals summer camps.
The circus-themed gala featured carnival games, magicians, stilt-walkers and a death-defying aerial performance. In addition to a plated full-service dinner, party-goers noshed at several food stations.
Three award recipients were honoured for their overriding commitment and contributions: Quebec-based Olymel received the Corporate Friend of We Care award; Murray Webb of Toronto-based Armark Canada received the Hall of Fame Award; and TV personality Kevin Frankish received the Gary Wright Humanitarian Award. “I’ve talked about the camp a lot, and I finally got the chance to experience it first-hand this past summer,” said Frankish. “I want to talk to you about a really important moment I had when I was there. They had just taken the kids sailing and canoeing and kayaking. While I’m looking out watching these kids laughing and splashing each other with water, I turned and looked beside me at a bunch of empty wheelchairs and walkers left on the shore. That’s the great equalizer; letting kids be kids.”
At the end of the evening Easter Seals Canada CEO, Dave Starrett, accepted a cheque for $1,049,730, the total funds raised since last year’s gala. Since 1983, Friends of We Care has raised more than $17.5 million to send more than 38,000 children to summer camps across Canada.
The 25th annual We Care Golf and Spa Classic will take place June 2. For more information, visit friendsofwecare.org.