Another year has passed and another successful gala for the Smiles of Innocence Memorial Charity has raised thousands more for Canada’s largest children’s hospital and SickKids Foundation. With a total of 3 million in funds donated by the close of 2015, the 18th year celebration was bigger than ever. On Saturday, November 14th, this year’s celebration was held at Embassy Grand in Brampton to accommodate for its larger than normal sold out crowd of 1,400 guests!
Kicking off the evening, Barb DiGiulio of NewsTalk 1010 acted as Master of Ceremonies while Sensations Band provided live entertainment throughout the evening with support of Platinum Entertainment as the Disc Jockey. With a delicious menu prepared by the chefs at Embassy Grand, guests were treated to a wonderful meal that left your mouth salivating for more. The Italian-themed evening gave way to much more excitement with a Live Auction Co-Hosted by OLN’s hit series The Liquidator, Jeff Schwarz with incredible prizes including a Trip For 2 To Vegas, a large wheel barrow with Italian cheese, meats and wine, customized chairs wrapped in Toronto Sports Team Jerseys among many others incredible packages. The Silent Auction included over 300 items plus other exciting raffles ongoing throughout the night. This year’s event was truly unforgettable!
Smiles of Innocence have given children in need 3 million reasons to smile. Founded in memory of Daniel Povegliano, who passed away in 1996 at the tender age of 4, his father, John Povegliano spoke to those in attendance about why he began the memorial charity. His touching speech highlighted the moments he did not get to experience as Daniel’s father and how moved he was by SickKids that he and his wife, began Smiles of Innocence back in 1997. The hard work and dedication of the committee and volunteers over the years have provided The Hospital of Sick Children with much needed funds to support Research, Development and Technical Equipment to improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and across the world! This year Smiles of Innocence has committed to purchase five Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) heaters. These important machines act as a life support system to provide both cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lungs are so severely damaged that they can no longer serve their function. President and CEO of SickKids Foundation, Ted Garrard spoke to the vision of the Povegliano’s and the astounding impact that events, like Smiles of Innocence, make for the children’s hospital.
Their logo; the happy face and hand print, holds a special meaning. The happy face emulating the smiles that you see on each patient’s face at SickKids, no matter what they may be fighting, and the hand print representing the imprint that these children have left on their loved ones and the world. The funds that have been raised in now 18 years at each Smiles of Innocence charity event are truly making the world of a difference!
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