West Island Palliative Care Residence 18th Annual Valentine’s Ball raised a record total of $545,000 at Friday evening’s West Island’s premier social event of the season –West Island Palliative Care 18th annual black-tie Valentine’s Ball of the West Island Palliative Care Residence, held at the Pavilion sur le lac of the Château Vaudreuil hotel.
After celebrating London and Paris in previous years, this year’s event theme stayed closer to home to recognize “Our Montreal” and its 375th anniversary. Leaving no doubt about the theme was guest of honour Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and a stirring performance at the start of the evening by 25 members of the world-renowned Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, founded by Dr. Trevor W. Payne,
C.M. There was also a surprise performance from Montreal’s “Queen of the Blues,” Dawn Tyler Watson, recent winner of the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Annual Valentine’s Ball for the Residence pre-dates its opening by several years as a means to raise funds for its initial construction. The first gala event was held in 2000 with the Residence opening in the fall of 2002, the 15th anniversary of which is being celebrated this year. The Ball has continued to be the organization’s largest annual fundraising event.
Masterfully handling the host duties again this year were media commentator and former member of the National Assembly Yolande James and Jamie Orchard, Senior Anchor of Global Montreal’s Evening News.
“I am humbled every year by the out-pouring of support for the Residence that we see at the Valentine’s Ball and the generosity of the community throughout the year. This support is absolutely vital in allowing us to continue to serve the community with quality palliative care,” said Teresa Dellar, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Residence. “As we mark the 15th anniversary of our opening this year, we remember we are only able to do so thanks to the ongoing support of our community.”
“We can only achieve success with the Valentine’s Ball thanks to the efforts and generosity of many individuals and companies, as well as our numerous volunteers.” said Kerri Elkas, Head of Corporate Affairs, Pfizer Canada Inc., and co-chair with Lily Kieliszczyk Mancini, Accounting, Broccolini Construction of the team of dedicated volunteers on the Ball organizing committee. “They all deserve a very big thank-you for making the evening such a success.”
Special guests attending from the sporting world included longtime Residence supporter Anthony Calvillo, Montreal Alouettes quarterbacks coach, and his wife Alexia. From the boxing world was former world WBO middleweight champion Otis Grant. Also attending was Alvin Powell, former NFL offensive lineman and current head of the Saving Station Foundation in Montreal which educates about the dangers of drug abuse.