The room was all decorated and ready for guests at Abbotsford Centre on Saturday night for the fifth annual Gift of Love Gala, a fundraiser for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The event raised a record $550,000. (John Morrow/Abbotsford Centre)

The room was all decorated and ready for guests at Abbotsford Centre on Saturday night for the fifth annual Gift of Love Gala, a fundraiser for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The event raised a record $550,000. (John Morrow/Abbotsford Centre)

Gift of Love Gala raises $550,000 for Canuck Place

Sold-out event attended by 500 at Abbotsford Centre

A total of 500 guests raised more than $550,000 for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice on Saturday night at the fifth annual Gift of Love Gala.

The sold-out event, presented by MNP, was held at Abbotsford Centre and was hosted by Breakfast Television’s Riaz Meghji.

Canuck Place supporters – including guests, sponsors, volunteers, board members, and staff – raised a record total for the event, supporting the complex care of children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Co-chairs Jennefer Vanderpol, Lisa Fershau and Marcie Cyr led the passionate and dedicated volunteer gala committee.

Canuck Place parents Melissa and Allan McLeod, whose son Oliver passed away on the Canuck Place program in 2017, spoke about the special care they have received.

“Nothing rocks you to your core, like the loss of a child,” Melissa said.

“In those darkest hours, when no one knows what to do, or what to say, when all hope seems lost, there are few bright lights that shine through the darkness. Canuck Place is one of those lights.”

Guests were entertained with a performance by Goh Ballet of L’Amore, an elegant dance created specially for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, along with Jennifer Hayes and the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra.

Guests ended the night on the dance floor thanks to the music of DJ Marvel.

The Gift of Love Gala, in partnership with the Fraser Valley community, has raised more than $1.7 million for Canuck Place children and families in the past five years.

All funds raised contribute to the delivery and expansion of Canuck Place care in B.C.

CEO Margaret McNeil said Canuck Place is expanding its in-patient services at the facility in Abbotsford – Dave Lede House – in 2019.

“The funds raised at this event ensure we can continue to grow and provide complex clinical care to children with life-threatening illnesses and help meet the increasing need around the province,” she said.

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Photo by John Morrow/Abbotsford News

Photo by John Morrow/Abbotsford News