Coming together for cancer cause

About 200 of Abbotsford’s movers and shakers came together on Sunday to sample wine, bid on some items and lend a hand to those fighting cancer. The second annual An Afternoon In Paradiso, a fundraising event for the BC Cancer Foundation, took place on the weekend and hundreds of people turned out to support the cause.

Guests at Sunday’s cancer fundraiser had the opportunity to ride in a basket crane supplied by the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.

Guests at Sunday’s cancer fundraiser had the opportunity to ride in a basket crane supplied by the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.

About 200 of Abbotsford’s movers and shakers came together on Sunday to sample wine, bid on some items and lend a hand to those fighting cancer.

The second annual An Afternoon In Paradiso, a fundraising event for the BC Cancer Foundation, took place on the weekend and hundreds of people turned out to support the cause.

“It’s great to have this kind of community support,” said Paul Esposito, host of the event. “When there’s a need, this community comes together and helps out.”

Originally scheduled to take place at Esposito’s vineyard, the location had to be switched to his business, Finnegan’s Pub and Phoenix Lounge, due to the weather.

But it didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.

Guests enjoyed silent and live auctions, as well as an opportunity to take a quick ride in a basket crane, supplied by the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service. For a minimum donation of $40, people were raised into the air for a view of the city.

All proceeds from the event go the the BC Cancer Agency – Abbotsford Centre.

“This is the second year for the event and the response is wonderful,” said Kate Ludlam of the BC Cancer Agency.

While final figures for this year have not been tabulated, Ludlam said more than $93,000 has been raised since the event started last year – all of which has stayed in the community.

She credits Esposito, and guest auctioneer Dave Holmberg of Abbotsford’s Bobcat Country Sales, for making the fundraiser a success.

Esposito said there is one simple reason he hosts the gala.

“To give some hope and share some light … If you are struggling with this cancerous disease, it’s important to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.