The recent Gift of Love Gala at Abbotsford Centre raised a record $593,000 in support of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
The sixth annual event was held Feb. 29 and was attended by more than 500 guests, sponsors, volunteers, board membrs and staff.
The sold-out gala was hosted by former Breakfast Television host and keynote speaker Riaz Meghji.
Guests were entertained by the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra and singer-songwriter Bukola Balogun.
The Gift of Love Gala was co-chaired by Aprille Ferrario, Marcie Cyr, and Suzanne Adams, who led a passionate and dedicated volunteer gala committee.
Canuck Place mother Marlo Jongenburger delivered an emotional speech about her daughter, Ella, who passed away on the Canuck Place program in 2017 at just 14 months old.
“We are heartbroken, yet we love,” Marlo said. “We are sad, yet we are happy. This is the life of a Canuck Place parent. This is a life we never want others to understand. However, for those families that need the support, Canuck Place is a light in the midst of a black hole.”
CEO Margaret McNeil said Canuck Place continues to expand its services out of Dave Lede House in Abbotsford, thanks to the “incredible community support.”
“The funds raised at this event by our guests and community partners ensure we can continue to grow and provide complex clinical care to children with life-threatening illnesses and help meet the increasing need in the Fraser Valley and around the province,” she said.
All funds raised at the Gift of Love Gala support the delivery of specialized pediatric palliative care for over 765 children and families facing life-threatening illnesses across British Columbia and Yukon.
Currently, more than 47 per cent of the children and families that Canuck Place serves reside in the Fraser Health region.