In a bridging together of cultures and a desire to keep senior citizens mobile, the second annual Giving Hearts Gala gathered hundred of guests to raise funds for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
The gala was held at the Coast Hotel ballroom at Cascades Casino on Saturday, Feb. 29. More than $150,000 was raised.
The theme was mobility, with funds going towards the purchase of new specialized wheelchairs and other mobility-enabling equipment.
Manjit Gill, founder and gala committee member, said it had a large precedent to follow after the inaugural event raised more than $200,000 in 2019.
She said the inspiration for focusing on mobility came from her own life when she saw first hand out a wheelchair benefited her mother’s life and how long they often had to wait to use one.
The evening consisted of a buffet style meal, raffle with a trip for two to any WestJet destination up for grabs, a henna artist, jewelry and clothing for sale at a vendor market, and an array of silent auction items to bid on.
South Asian decor lined each of the tables, which included elephant statues and red clothe. Many guests were dressed in bright colours and elaborate sari garments to celebrate the culture.
Performances by Tiffany Desrosiers, who recounted her own personal connection with Langley Memorial Hospital through the birth of her first child, and the Royal Academy of Bhangra kept the evening lively.
Speakers included Harjinder Thind, host of a morning radio program on Red FM as well as department head of hospitalists for Langley Memorial Hospital, Dr. Navneet Sidhu.
Vivian Smith, executive director of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, said this particular gala brings out such passion in one of the most philanthropic communities she has ever worked with.
“The hospital foundation is really honoured to be supported by the South Asian community, right throughout Langley, Surrey, and Abbotsford,” Smith explained. “They’re coming together tonight with their own cultural twist to think about the elders that we care for and the elders who often have a problem with mobility.”
Gill added that the time of the gala coincided with the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, a visionary leader who taught compassion unity, and equality.
She took inspiration from the age, and made 50 the target for number of wheelchairs bought at the gala, which were $2,500 each.
20 wheelchairs and 2 walkers were bought throughout the course of the night.
Gill said she hopes to continue the gala in the future and will also decide if there will be another one at a later date.
In the meantime, people can continue to donate at https:lmhfoundation.com.
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