The recent eighth annual Gift of Love Gala raised more than $273,000 for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Abbotsford and Vancouver.
The event, normally held at Abbotsford Centre, took place March 5 through a new interactive online broadcast hosted by Every Conversation Counts author Riaz Meghji.
The event involved Meghji having conversations with special guests around the themes connection, hope and resilience.
He was first joined by Vancouver Canucks alumni Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who discussed their experience with resilience.
Meghji was also joined by Canuck Place counsellor Deborah Davison to share valuable insights on remaining connected during times of uncertainty.
Finally, Canuck Place nurse practitioner Camara van Breemen and Canuck Place mom Sharon Bulger discussed her son Cameron’s cancer journey.
“Canuck Place swooped in and relieved the pressure,” Bulger said. “No parent plans for their child to die, and no parent has any plans for when their child does die. Canuck Place was there to help us put the pieces back together. In the depths of my worst nightmare, Canuck Place held us until we could begin to stand again.”
The evening also treated guests to performances from Bukola and Langley Ukulele and a chance to win a 14k gold diamond multi-band ring from Lanka Jewels.
Guests also bid on more than 100 auction items, including an exclusive two-night stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort.
Funds were also raised through Canuck Place’s virtual Fund-A-Need program, which supports the greatest critical care needs. Cameo appearances featured Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau and Abbotsford Canucks players Adam Brubacher, Tristen Nielsen and Will Lockwood.
The evening closed with a candle0lighting ceremony in honour of Cameron and the other children cared for by Canuck Place over the past 26 years.
The funds raised from Gift of Love will support pediatric palliative care provided at Canuck Place to more than 800 children and families in B.C. and the Yukon.