The First Annual All-Star Gala: Glamour and Sports in Support of SickKids Hospital
The inaugural All-Star Gala took place on Friday, June 26, 2015. This elegant cocktail reception raised over $68,000 from its fundraising efforts to purchase a new cardiac MRI machine. All of the money raised from the night will be directed towards the SickKids Foundation.

Over 1,000 guests, a mix of young urban professionals and professional athletes, came out to the Arcadian Loft to show their support for the Hospital for Sick Children. Such professional athletes in attendance included Toronto FC defenders Steven Caldwell and Clement Simonin, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Peter Holland, and Calgary Flames centre-forward Sean Monahan.

Highlights of the evening included a luxury silent auction that featured many amazing prizes such as paintings, concert tickets, cookware, and trip packages. The Paloma Picasso heart ribbon pendant from Tiffany and Co. sparked a bidding war throughout the night.

The sweets table was also a huge hit with the guests. Vegan doughnuts, sour gummy bears, and jujubes were offered to keep the guests sated throughout the night.

The live musical performances were absolutely fantastic and easily the best part of the gala! Aion Clarke, Toronto-based singer/songwriter, was simply enchanting on stage with his soulful voice and charming stage presence. He and his band performed two sets that brought the guests onto the dance floor and grooving to covers of Bruno Mars, Al Green, and Frank Sinatra.

all star gala aion clarke
Aion Clarke

The Co-founders of the gala, James Blackburn and Cam Healy, approached the stage to thank the volunteers, committee members, sponsors, and everyone who made the first All-Star Gala the success that it was. Both Cam and James share personal connections and deep admiration for SickKids Hospital and praised the compassionate hospital staff for the amazing and inspiring work that they do for their young courageous patients.

SickKids Ambassador, 20-year-old David Maggiori, bravely shared his story of how the staff and loving environment at SickKids Hospital never made him feel like a sick person, even though he had severe heart problems that included unsuccessful surgeries, the implantation of a Berlin Heart, and finally a successful heart transplant. He now lives life as a normal and healthy young adult. To conclude his story, he praised the donors by saying that their efforts and dollars are making a difference in the lives in present and future SickKids. The mood set by that inspirational speech was disrupted by a slightly tasteless comment made by the gala host, TSN’s Cabbie Richards, who referred to the hostesses handing out raffle tickets as “eleven out of tens in LBDs.” The majority of the crowd was too busy taking advantage of the open bar to notice the comment so the night continued on with more music from Aion Clarke and a DJ set of Juno-nominated DJ Glenn Morrison.

SickKids Ambassador, David Maggiori
SickKids Ambassador, David Maggiori

About The Hospital for Sick Children
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is one of the world’s largest and most respected pediatric health-science centres in the world. The Sick Kids Foundation is the largest funding agency in child health research, education and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for the hospital, where the proceeds and support go towards infrastructure, physicians, research, and state-of-the-art medical equipment.

(photo credit: Ryan Emberley)

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