Hopewell's Valentine's Gala by Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Last weekend, I attended the 2nd annual Hopewell LOVE YOUR LIFE Valentine’s Gala – what a blast! As Chair of the Gala committee, I was delighted to see that our months of preparation paid off. I had many guests come up to me that night to say they loved the event and would definitely be back again next year.
Our organizing committee had two goals: 1) raise funds; and, 2) raise awareness for Hopewell. I’m proud to say, we did both. Final exact numbers are yet to be tallied, but it looks like the event raised over $6,000. Plus, we garnered lots of media support as this Gala was hot on the heels of national Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Jewel 98.5 gave us a full week of spots, wow!
There were a LOT of events on that weekend, plus Winterlude. So we were especially delighted that so many people selected our gala to attend, from the bunch of choices. The ambiance was like a family wedding or gathering – everyone was so friendly.

We knew, based on last year’s success, that we would again be partnering with the Hilton Garden Inn (Airport) in Ottawa because they were so fantastic to work with. I would recommend that venue to anyone looking for a classy, no-headaches venue. They even have free parking. And the staff is unbelievably service-oriented. General Manager, Franco Falcucci supported in so many ways, not the least of which was the “Everything Hilton” luxury weekend raffle. And Catering Manager Abraham Gebremichael and his team came up with a delish dinner and a fab new cocktail called the “Hopewelltini” (you’ve gotta try one!).

You might wonder why I volunteered for a second year to Chair this Gala committee. Of course, helping Hopewell is the main reason and the rest of the truth is – I love a great party! I have never seen an Executive Director like Christine Flammer roll up her sleeves and help with a fundraiser like this. She and her 2.5-person staff (that’s right … only 2 and a half staff members) ROCK!
Of course, I was lucky to have the best organizing committee in the world with Sandy Campbell, Manuela Charette and Julia Abbenda. Erin Fitzpatrick offered portrait photos all night with proceeds to Hopewell – she is an amazing photographer. See for yourself at www.erinfitzpatrick.ca  No party is complete without the band, and we had the best – Showtime Party Band. Check out an sample of their tunes on their website www.showtimepartyband.com to hear what kept us dancing ALL NIGHT … my feet were sore for two days I danced so much! The silent auction with over 30 items, the room decorations and candlelight, the “Sip ‘n Tip” winetasting from Pelee Island Winery www.peleeisland.com , just everything came together like we’d hoped to create a memorable evening for everyone.

 Anyone interested in getting on the email list for next year’s event, I suggest you contact www.hopewell.ca  Hopefully, I’ll see you on the dance floor at the 2011 Hopewell LOVE YOUR LIFE Valentine’s Gala!

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