On Sunday, September 22, 2013 the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary Board celebrated its 60th anniversary with a fundraising ball held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto.
The Auxiliary, who has a long history of supporting Mount Sinai Hospital starting before the advent of the current Ontario Health Insurance Plan (better known by its abbreviation of OHIP), is in the midst of a $4.5 million dollar campaign focused on women’s and infant’s health. Interestingly, it was the practice of using anesthesia during childbirth which contributed to a shift from women having children at home to having children in hospitals. In 1900, over 90 percent of all births occurred in the mother’s home. But by 1940, over half took place in hospitals and by 1950 the figure had reached 90 percent (which is most likely one of the reasons why the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary was founded in the first place, so they could help mitigate the costs of hospitalization, a thus provides a perfect segue for the purpose of the fundraiser for this evening).
The event began at 7 pm in the evening and was held in a very large ball room on the second floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Its purpose, besides raising money with it $500 ticket entry fee as a starting point, was to entertain its guests by teleporting them back into time to the year 1953. The friendly hostesses wore polka dot dresses (a common wear in that era) and encouraged newcomers to have photographs taken of them with fedora hats for the males, and pearl necklaces for the females that they had ready for them. While most of the guests were not decked out in 50 style clothes, it was good to see that a few of the male crooners made it out sporting suspenders, striped suits, polka dot red ties and fedoras that would have I am sure made Elvis Presley proud.
Besides the generous amounts of wine, cocktails, beer and food handed out at the event (examples of which included chicken rice pilaf, chicken and tangerine pate on crackers, vegetable and fish dishes, and delicious desserts comprised amongst other fares of chocolate chip cookies and caramel popcorn); they proudly served 50 styles hamburgers and hot dogs. One felt, as they ordered these food items that were in a 50s style soda fountain since the food servers were dressed in the appropriate garb of that era. Paging Marty McFly! I didn’t need no DeLorean time machine to get my tasty 50s style burgers!
The hosting duties of the evening fell to the ageless Jeanne Becker. She gave a decent overview of the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary Board, and helped to sell raffle tickets to items provided by contributing donors who gave guests the chance to win purses, pearl necklaces, home closet remodeling, and a $2000 dollar shopping spree in Yorkville. It has to be mentioned that the most important contribution to the Mount Sinai Hospital occurred on June 24th of this year, when well-renowned Philanthropists Larry and Judy Tanenbaum made a generous and historic $35 million gift towards research to the hospital. This, along with the funds generated by this fundraiser helps to put Mount Sinai hospital on a firmer foundation for the near future.
Finally, the musical score of the evening was provided by Toronto’s own jazz crooner, Matt Dusk, and his 18 piece orchestra. The style of music was appropriate for the evening, as it gave that 50s vibe the organizers of the event were looking for. A nice parting gift was a CD of Matt Dusk music, thus allowing one to listen to Matt on and on and on and on and on and on into the future.
All in all a great evening for a great cause, and a fun time for all who attended.
photos by Tanya
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