Sixth-annual cancer fundraiser supports patient resource centre

‘Paradiso’ has raised 266,000 over six years

  • Oct. 30, 2015 5:00 p.m.
The BC Cancer Agency's Abbotsford Centre.

The BC Cancer Agency's Abbotsford Centre.

A popular Abbotsford event has raised more than $266,000 over the past six years to support cancer patients and their families.

The sixth annual Afternoon in Paradiso raised $35,000 this year, which will help establish a Patient Resource Centre at the BC Cancer Agency’s Abbotsford Centre.

“It’s going to be a fantastic room for the people who are unfortunately diagnosed with cancer,” said Paul Esposito Sr., who hosts the event , which was on Sept. 27 this year at the Phoenix Lounge on King Road. “It’s going to bring comfort and knowledge, lift their spirit, and hopefully [give them] the willingness and the fight to get through their challenges.”

The resource centre is currently in the development stage, and Esposito hopes it will feature spaces for cancer patients and their families to sit, meet and gain information in the fight against the disease.

Over previous years, the event has supported cutting-edge cancer research. It’s also purchased equipment for the Abbotsford Centre, like a gastroscope, which allows doctors to look inside a patient’s stomach, and a pelvis belly board, which helps patients lie in the right position when receiving radiation treatment.

“It’s been a sincere pleasure working with Paul Esposito Sr…. as well as the volunteer organizing committee of An Afternoon in Paradiso who have worked tirelessly to make this funding possible,” said Rachel Mitchell, the senior development officer of special events for the BC Cancer Agency.

The Paradiso event features wine tasting, craft beer and entertainment, with ticket sales and live auction proceeds supporting the BC Cancer Foundation.

“The biggest value is what Paradiso has been able to donate to the Centre and to hear from the doctors,” said Christine Wiebe, one of the 14 volunteer committee members who organized the event. “And for the guests, it’s an enjoyable afternoon filled with great fun bidding on many silent and live auction items.”

Esposito is already planning the next event for 2016 he’s thinking about keeping the wine tasting, but adding more craft beer tasting and an Oktoberfest theme.

“I’m so blessed with such good people in our committee that are so generous with their time,” said Esposito.