Black & White with A Touch of Pink Gala 2015
Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala: A Celebration of Pink Pearl Foundation
The 9th Annual Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala was an absolutely splendid event! Hosted by the Pink Pearl Foundation, the gala was meant to raise funds and awareness so that this community-oriented organization can continue to offer programs and resources to young women who are battling cancer.
It was an evening that celebrated a new milestone for the Pink Pearl Foundation and honoured the amazing strength and grace of the young female cancer survivors who turned to Pink Pearl for support and empowerment. The programs that the Pink Pearl Foundation offers include day-long and overnight wellness retreat, in-hospital support packages, and ask-the-expert health information sessions.
For this year’s Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala, the Airship 37 was a unique venue choice for the event. A garden path lined with pink lanterns led guests right into the Gooderham Lounge, which featured dark wood panel walls, a makeup station sponsored by Arbonne, and a bracelet station sponsored by Gemm Accessories. The Hangar room was decorated with white draping along the walls, pink and white boas on the tables, all of which were casted in soft pink lighting that added elegance and vibrancy to the space. There was enough room for everyone to eat, drink, mingle, and dance the night away.
The gala’s silent auction, raffle, and Cloud of Hope offered very impressive prizes for the guests. Although the silent auction was a bit on the smaller side, it featured some amazing prizes including a Kate Spade handbag, a Samsung Nexus 6, six tickets to the Toronto Blue Jays versus the Baltimore Orioles game, and a Samsung Note Edge. For $20, guests could grab an envelope from the Cloud of Hope and receive a prize from sponsors including DavidsTea, ROM, Nike, and Capucci Salon and Spa. A pair of round trip flight vouchers to any Porter destination was up for grabs in the raffle.
Michelle Dube (CTV News Toronto Co-Anchor) was an excellent emcee for the night. Her effervescent personality and warm presence were like a breath of fresh air. When the founder of the Pink Pearl Foundation, Elise Gasbarrino, took the microphone to talk about the foundation and its successes, she projected so much positivity into her speech. While hearing her express gratitude to the sponsors and the guests for coming to the party, it was evident that she loved the organization and the positive impact it has made on the lives of young women who are battling cancer.
The most heartwarming part of the evening was hearing from Maddie Jenkins (age 22) and Candace Dickson (age 24). These two brave young women were the recipients of the first Pink Pearl scholarships. The scholarships were awarded to applicants who were highly active in their community, are attending post-secondary institutions, and are diagnosed with cancer. Candace was diagnosed with acute mild leukemia when she was 23 years old, and with the immense help and compassion from Pink Pearl, she is currently attending Mohawk College with aspirations of becoming a Medical Lab Technician. Maddie Jenkins, the second recipient of the Pink Pearl scholarship, displayed so much grace and strength as she said that the Pink Pearl Foundation gave her mentorship, fostered positive relationships with women who are facing the same difficulties, and helped her become a better version of herself. She will use her scholarship towards her education at Wilfrid Laurier University where she is studying Communications and Marketing with the goal to work for a non-profit organization like Pink Pearl.
The party concluded with live music from the Emerson Street Rhythm Band, desserts, and more mingling. The six-piece Emerson Street Rhythm Band was fantastic live as they performed well-known funk, soul, and R&B, and Rock songs that got the crowd dancing.
Overall, the Black and White with a Touch of Pink Gala was a wonderful event. All proceeds will go directly to the Pink Pearl Foundation so they can continue to help and empower young women who are courageously fighting with cancer and the emotional and social challenges that always come with such tragic circumstances. The Pink Pearl Foundation offers a warm, compassionate hand to these young women, show them that they are not alone, and they will not only survive but thrive.
(photos by Nancy Na)