Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala 2016 benefiting the Pink Pearl Foundation
On Friday, April 8th, 2016, the Pink Pearl Foundation celebrated the tenth anniversary of its highly successful fundraiser, the Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala. It was an unforgettable night of great music, lively dancing, and all for a wonderful cause. Most importantly, the gala honoured the amazing courage and grace of the young women who turned to Pink Pearl for support and empowerment as they fight their battles with cancer. This year’s Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala raised a total of $55,000! The funds raised from this event will be directed to resources and programs that the Pink Pearl Foundation offers, including day-long and overnight wellness retreats, in-hospital support packages, and ask-the-expert health information sessions.

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The Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala took over the renowned Berkeley Church for this year’s event. Stringed lights and hot pink lighting cast an elegant and feminine glow throughout the space. The top floor featured the extensive silent auction, a makeup station sponsored by Arbonne, an accessories booth sponsored by Gemm Accessories, and a Blue Jays lounge to watch them play the Boston Red Sox (Jays lost 8-7). The lower level had the 10 Pink Things lock game and the Light it Up Instant Win tree. The Light It Up instant tree was a whimsical and creative addition to the event where mini lanterns were lit every time someone donated $20 to the cause. In return, they receive an envelope that revealed their prize, which ranged from $10 to $700 in value. The 10 Pink Things lock game was another fun and creative game where guests buy a key for $10 and get a chance to unlock one of the padlocks and win a fantastic pink-coloured prize. These prizes included a Marchesa clutch, an Oscar de la Renta fur bolero, and a $500 travel credit courtesy of VIA Rail.

The silent auction was massive! There were some fabulous and extravagant prizes including four tickets to a taping of the Rick Mercer Report and RMR swag, a helicopter tour of Toronto for two, and a Vespa Primavera scooter with two helmets. A hot air balloon ride and champagne picnic for two was also up for grabs during the silent auction.

Michelle Dube (CTV News Toronto Co-Anchor) was a fantastic emcee for the night. She was last year’s emcee and again, her charming personality and high energy captivated the crowd. Elise Gasbarrino, the founder of the Pink Pearl Foundation, took the stage to express gratitude to the many people who made the event a huge success. During her time on stage, it was clear that she loves the organization and the positive impact it has made on the many lives of young women who are battling cancer.
Following Elise’s time on the stage were Roger D. Ali, the Vice President, Development at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and Julia Bayer, a teacher who was diagnosed with cancer at 26 years old. She lit up the stage with a bright smile that was full of hope and humility. In her speech, she thanked the Pink Pearl Foundation for their support and friendship when she went through rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries, and recovery. Although the cancer returned to her abdomen, that news hasn’t stopped her from embracing an abundant life.


The party concluded with live music from The Doubts, desserts, and dancing into the night. Guests clamored for the delicious cupcakes, cookies, and brownies that were passed around on three-tier trays. To say that The Doubts were amazing would be an understatement. They brought the whole house down and got everybody dancing and singing along to Top 40 hits, eighties medleys, and classic hits! At the end of the night, everyone received gift bags full of products that promoted clean and ethical living. These products included soap from The Perth Soap Co., Mettrum Originals, and Gemm Accessories.

What is the Pink Pearl Foundation?
Pink Pearl is a not-for-profit organization that provides support, compassion, and empowerment to young women battling cancer across southern Ontario.

(photos by Tanya)

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