Tag Archives: charity galas

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“EAT TO THE BEAT” FUNDRAISING GALA FEEDS THE SOUL AS WELL AS THE TUMMY!

Thanks to my friend and PR colleague, Peter Ashworth, I attended last night’s “Eat to the Beat” fundraiser benefitting the Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support organization here in Toronto at the prestigious Roy Thomson Hall.img284Hundreds of hungry guests strolled around the circular outer hall, indulging in some of the yummiest treats created by the city’s leading female chefs, accompanied by all manner of liquid refreshments including one of my favourites…below20151027_194810

Upon entering the grand hall, my BFF Erena and I were greeted by a bustiered kick-line of charming volunteers from the Willow organization. They were outfitted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Eat to the Beat and as you can see in this quickee video, all were bedecked in festive accoutrements…LOL

What a great way to start the evening. Congrats to all the energetic, hard-working volunteers! 20151027_185754So Erena (in B&W striped jacket below) and I pressed on and started our safari into the gourmet jungle. Calories be damned!20151027_201504 20151027_193512So many charming chefs who proudly shared their best dishes with us all…20151027_190544 20151027_192934 20151027_190300

20151027_191144 20151027_190955Lamb was a popular meat last night which, of course, made this Downunder lady very happy. It’s no joke when we Aussies boast that Australia was built on the back of a sheep. Yummm.

In between gobbling up the samples, we ran into media friend Christine Bentley (host of “What She Said” on SiriusXM)20151027_193940….and more fabulous funny friends from Willow & event sponsor Scotiabank who worked the room like pro’s!20151027_194534In case you were wondering…yes, there were lots of handsome gentlemen there, too, including reps from Hockley Beer, Pr. Edward County wineries, Ace Bakery and the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts!20151027_190451 20151027_191432 20151027_200306 20151027_201154Lots of delicious desserts were on offer, too, and being the dedicated chocoholic that I am, I headed straight for the Succulent Chocolates table (below).  You have to taste their chocky-wokkies…wow, talk about a party in your mouth!!20151027_194319These sour cherry/mascarpone blintzes were amazing, too.20151027_191929So many food stations, not enough tummy space! So glad I wore elastic waisted pants…LOL20151027_190511 20151027_200023 20151027_195938 20151027_192904

20151027_190424Apart from all the festive foods and drinkies consumed, we mustn’t lose sight of the night’s mission to raise awareness and $s for the Willow organization. All of us with family, friends or our own selves living with cancer are so grateful to Willow for providing an amazing network of support services. THANK YOU!
It was so nice to see such an enthusiastic crowd coming out to support the event….20151027_191848 20151027_200844

…just enough time left to enjoy a few more naughty nibbles at the dessert stations….20151027_191521

20151027_200439..and thank goodness for Starbucks and their smiling crew (below) who helped cleanse my palette with a nice strong cuppa coffee.20151027_190045I managed to snap two of my favorite ladies, Erena (below left) with Lynne (below right) from KMH Labs on Edward Street20151027_203442And here he is, the one and only Peter Ashworth (below) who worked so hard with his lovely associate Ashley to bring in the media to cover this important soiree.20151027_203751Please visit  www.willow.org  if you need any support or information. And if you would like to like to donate to their cause, it’s certainly not too late.20151027_204007

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ORT TORONTO GALA CELEBRATES ONGOING INT’L EDUCATION WORK + HONOURS CONTRIBUTIONS TO ART WORLD

Last night, ORT Toronto hosted its annual fundraising gala “Unfinished Business of the 20th Century – Restitution of Looted Art” at the Design Exchange in Toronto with a dinner and dessert reception plus a silent art auction. Thanks to my friend and PR colleague, Danielle Iversen who publicized the gala, I was invited to attend and help celebrate this year’s Honourees including Paul E. Bain (pictured below) partner at Dickinson Wright LLP, who was honoured for his work protecting artists’ rights and his dedication to several not-for-profit art organizations.20151018_212655…as well as Honourees for the ORT Recognition AwardJanis & Kenny Finkelstein, for their many years of dedication and support to the organization (below).20151018_195434Then the evening’s MC, Michael B. Miller (below) introduced the Keynote Speaker for this year’s gala…..20151018_194232….Donald S. Burris, one of the men behind the “Woman in Gold” case where a Nazi-appropriated Gustav Klimt masterpiece was returned to its rightful owner decades after the theft. Mr. Burris is a senior partner in the L.A. firm Burris, Schoenberg & Walden LLP, and he spoke about that case (recently told in the Helen Mirren/Ryan Reynolds feature film “The Woman in Gold”) and his pursuit of other art works stolen by the Nazis in World War II.  Talk about a fascinating presentation and what a riveting brush with history I experienced.

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20151018_205126Mr. Burris spoke at great length about the numerous trials, the international legal wrangling and ultimate triumph that brought the Klimt portrait of Ms. Altmann’s aunt back to the family, as well as comments regarding the other recent movie “The Monuments Men” which sadly did not tell the full true story of the Allies’ attempt to rescue and protect the greatest artworks in Europe’s private Jewish family collections.

Although the speech was a sobering reminder to all what happened seven+ decades ago, the evening was full of promise and positive celebrations for ORT Toronto which is an arm of World ORT, founded in 1880, the largest non-denominational, non-governmental organization providing “Education for Life” each year to over 300,000 disadvantaged students in 60 countries. The name is an acronym based on its original Russian name. ORTThrough its International Cooperation programs, ORT supports non-sectarian economic and social development in under-developed parts of the world, with vocational training and the provision of technical assistance.  ORT operates a global network of schools, colleges, training centres and programmes in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the CIS and Baltic States, Israel, Latin America, North America and Western Europe. ORT schools are highly regarded and are open to all children regardless of religious backgrounds.  http://www.ort-toronto.org/

ORT Executive Director, Lindy Meshwork says: “In these challenging times, we believe the key to a better world lies in education.  Since 1880 ORT has been providing the necessary skills and training to succeed, providing hope and the opportunity for a brighter future for students around the world.”
Exec. Dir. Lindy Meshwork with Danielle

Exec. Dir. Lindy Meshwork with event publicist Danielle

The evening also featured a delicious buffet dinner with a dessert reception after the awards presentations. There was a silent auction featuring artworks by renowned painters & photographers to help raise funds for ORT Toronto. Here are some candid photos of the guests, honourees and VIPs …and mazel tov to all for a fantastic night!

Harry & Esther Goodman enjoyed the festivities

Harry & Esther Goodman enjoyed the festivities

Danielle (left) joined my table for dinner and schmoozing.

Danielle (left) joined my table for dinner and schmoozing with Rochelle Covent (right)

Mr. Burris was enthusiastically  congratulated on his speech

Mr. Burris was enthusiastically congratulated on his speech

I ran into media colleague Georgina Bencsik at the buffet

I ran into media colleague Georgina Bencsik at the buffet

More media enjoying the dinner incl. Jody Glaser (above R)

More media enjoying the dinner incl. Jody Glaser (above R) with his wife Katherine

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L-R: Philip Strathy, Danielle, Sam Wales & Michael Miller

L-R: Philip Strathy, Danielle, Sam Wales & Michael Miller

A successful fundraiser & awards gala = good reason to kick up their heels!

Harry, Danielle & Sam kick up their heels

ABOUT THE EVENT:
GALA MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Michael B. Miller, Partner, Dickinson Wright, LLP
HONOURARY CO-CHAIRS: Carrie Katz + Ellen Miller
TRIBUTE COMMITTEE: Madeline Avedon, Rose Baum, Jeanne Beker, Joyce Chapnick, Justice Sandra Chapnik, Hedy Frisch, Edie Glazer, Julianna Greenspan, Marlene Hait,
Elise Kalles, Barbara Kingstone, Michelle Maderer, Laura Walsh & Israel Mida, Tom Mihalik,, Aviva Morgenstern, Harriet Morton, Marlene & Martin Rochwerg, Irene Reingold, Mary Richmond, Serafima Roll, Dorothy Cohen Shoichet, Elise Sieradzki, Justice Gertrude Speigel, Bella Tal, Sam Wales, Florence Weinstock, Liora Yakubowicz
ORT Canada – Charitable Number: 118834910 RR0001
Co- Presidents: Carrie Katz, Jacob Kincler & Arthur Silber
ORT Toronto
President: Janis Finkelstein,  Past President: Florence Weinstock
Executive Director: Lindy Meshwork
Director of Admin: Roni Maderer
Sponsored by BMO, Tom Mihalik: Tom’s Place and Janis & Kenny Finkelstein
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