Annual Gala raises $2 million and breaks its fundraising record as over 1,100 guests enjoy "Exquisite California" in support of the Children's Aid Foundation
TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - It was a night of good vibrations at the 27th Annual Teddy Bear Affair as more than 1,100 of Toronto's finest celebrated at a California-themed evening and raised funds for the Children's Aid Foundation. These generous individuals helped raise a record $2 million; which will be used to improve the lives of Canada's abused and neglected children and young adults currently or formerly living in the child welfare system.
"We are thrilled that so many kind and generous guests came out to the Children's Aid Foundation's Teddy Bear Affair," said Joe Canavan, Chairman and Interim CEO, Children's Aid Foundation. "Without their care and support, desperately needed programs would not receive the necessary funding. These beautiful children who live in foster care deserve access to programs that will help enrich their lives. Thank you to our esteemed patron sponsors, CGI and CIBC without whom none of this would be possible."
This year's theme, "Exquisite California" was evident throughout the evening - from the cabanas, sandcastles and surfboards to the live music of Brian Wilson, co-founder of The Beach Boys, and the specially crafted dinner by renowned celebrity chef, Charlie Ayers, California cuisine aficionado, who flew in from Palo Alto to lend his artistry.
Serving this year as honorary gala co-chairs were Manulife Financial President and CEO Donald Guloien and Irene Boychuk, whose incredible commitment to the Children's Aid Foundation has endured for nearly 25 years, taking the form of personal donations, volunteerism, advocacy, and philanthropic leadership.
The evening also included a silent and live auction and raffle featuring highly coveted prizing including three exquisite jewelry prizes. In total, the evening raised $2 million, surpassing the $1.36 million raised at last year's event.
"Over the last 17 years, CGI has been a proud patron sponsor of the Teddy Bear Affair," says Marie MacDonald, Senior Vice President, CGI. "We take enormous pride in being able to help deserving children and young people across Canada pursue their dreams and acquire the tools and skills they need to reach their full potential."
Funds raised at this year's gala will help address the needs of Canada's most vulnerable children and young people. There are 76,000 kids and teens across Canada living in the child welfare system, in foster homes or residential facilities. The parents of these kids are not able to care for them, and these kids have suffered from abuse, neglect, abandonment or poverty. Thousands more are living in unstable homes and are at risk of coming into care.
"CIBC and its employees are pleased to support the Children's Aid Foundation," says Richard Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer, CIBC. "Through funding from CIBC Miracle Day we have been proud to provide financial assistance to kids in care since 1999. This is made possible with the help of our employees, who each year donate their fees and commissions on the first Wednesday in December to make a difference for kids in need."
The Children's Aid Foundation has a mission to improve the lives of these vulnerable young people by bridging the gap between what the government is able to provide to stabilize them and what these kids need in order to heal, rebuild their self-esteem, and find the path to a brighter future. Thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors, The Children's Aid Foundation works with child welfare agencies across Canada to provide funding for programs and services in the areas of prevention, education, enrichment, healing and recovery.
The 28th annual Children's Aid Foundation's Teddy Bear Affair will take place next year on November 1, 2014. Guests will be treated to an enchanting Italian-themed evening with honorary co-chairs John and Rita Gagliano. To learn more about the event or the Children's Aid Foundation, visit www.cafdn.org
About the Children's Aid Foundation
An astonishing number of children in Canada are at risk and need our help. Many suffer in poverty, while others have been victims of abuse and neglect. A staggering 76,000 of them live in foster homes or a residential facility. The mission of the Children's Aid Foundation is to fund programs that give them skills and hope for a promising future.
SOURCE: Children's Aid Foundation
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