TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2018 /CNW/ - More than $10 million was raised at the Baycrest Gala Sunday night capping an impressive year of special celebrations to mark 100 years of Baycrest's innovations in the care of older adults and the field of aging and brain health.
The money raised will go towards the new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness – a first-of-its-kind in Canada and one of many leading-edge initiatives anticipated at Baycrest over the next 100 years.
Some 1,400 guests dined and danced to the music of legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire in a 45,000-square-foot tent erected on the Baycrest campus for the event – a monumental feat that took five days to complete. The entrance was a re-creation of the façade of the original Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home (Baycrest's forerunner), a Victorian house on Cecil Street near Kensington Market in downtown Toronto. Among the handful of speakers who addressed the gala theme "it starts with you", was actress Sarah Rafferty of the acclaimed TV show Suits, and global ambassador of Baycrest's Brain Project.
Event honourees, the Kimel family, were joined by numerous relatives, friends, colleagues and other Baycrest supporters contributing to the new Centre for Brain Health and Wellness and celebrating a century of care and innovation at Baycrest. Co-chairs of the event were: Michael Bregman, Mitch Cohen, Karen Diamond, Ellis Jacob and Ed Sonshine.
Warren Kimel, President of Fabricland and member of the Baycrest Foundation Board of Directors, and brother Ron Kimel, Chairman of the Board of Urbanfund Corp., and their wives, Debbie and Vanessa, are well-known philanthropists and community leaders who have a long-standing relationship with Baycrest.
"Baycrest's 100th Anniversary was the catalyst for this event, but the visionary leadership and generosity of the Kimel family inspired the extraordinary response in support of the new Centre for Brain Health and Wellness," says Josh Cooper, President and CEO of the Baycrest Foundation. "We are so grateful to everyone for contributing to Baycrest's latest initiative, which is expected to revolutionize the way people age and play a pivotal role in the fight to defeat dementia."
The new Centre will focus on three areas: Community Wellness Programming; Specialized Wellness Clinics; and Integrated Research to Prevent Cognitive Decline. A Clinical Trials Unit will also be developed to provide access to leading-edge drug and non-drug interventions. The goal is to offer Baycrest clients and community members evidence-based, personalized programs to help delay cognitive decline and treat dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.
The inaugural Director of the new Centre is Dr. Howard Chertkow, a world-renowned cognitive neurologist and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. He joined Baycrest in May 2018 and is also the new Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation and a Senior Scientist at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute.
"The new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness will solidify Baycrest's position as a global leader in discovering ways to improve brain health and aging," says Baycrest President and CEO Dr. William Reichman. "Baycrest continues to pioneer best aging care practices and is working to create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment."
For more information about Baycrest's 100th Anniversary Gala and the new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness, please visit: www.baycrestfoundation.org/gala
About the Baycrest Foundation
The Baycrest Foundation's mission is to enrich the quality of life of our community by supporting programs and services that promote excellence in care, research, education and innovation in the field of aging. As the fundraising arm of Baycrest, the Foundation helps provide crucial funding for breakthrough research into cognition, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, stroke and aging brain health; medical programs and services for seniors living in our community; and education that supports healthy aging and healthcare solutions for a growing senior population. https://www.baycrestfoundation.org
Now in its 100th year, Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world's top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Canadian Centre for Aging +Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and the developer of Cogniciti - a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org.
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