Story & image: Miranda Roach
Get ready for a night of bright lights, smooth music and a mass crowd uniting as one for a great cause. Running 11 years strong, the Oshawa Hospital Foundation is holding its 12th annual fall gala at the General Motors Centre Oct. 1.
The evening kicks off at 4 p.m. with a private reception for corporate sponsors with classical, contemporary pop group the Canadian Tenors. The reception is followed by dinner featuring a special performance by the harmonic foursome and a live auction. Over 2,000 people are attending the public concert at 8 p.m. with performances by the Tenors and multi-platinum recording artist, Sarah Brightman. Guests will then be ushered out and gala attendees will remain for a special martini and dance after-party.
Having a concert as part of the event is a concept that has been recently introduced by chief executive officer of the Oshawa Hospital Foundation Jim Szeman, who created the gala celebration in November 1999.
“There has been more attendance and money generated each year,” he said. Last year’s gala raised $250,000 and Szeman’s goal for this year is $500,000. Guests bought tables for the event ranging from $3,000 – $25,000.
The celebration is held each year in hopes of raising money to improve health care initiatives in our community such as the new cancer and breast assessment centres, developments in pediatrics and mental health and the $50 million ‘My Health, My Hospital’ campaign.
“My favourite word is believe,” said Szeman. “I really believe in the difference between good health care and excellent health care.”
Other guests in attendance of the 550 person sold-out crowd will include mayor John Gray, regional councilors, finance minister Jim Flaherty and EMI Music Canada. “It’s our community and our excellent donors,” said Szeman. “The Oshawa Hospital Foundation is becoming the centre of a healthy community.”