Second Annual Daughters for Life Gala an Evening to Remember!
The Daughters For Life Second Annual Gala was an overwhelming success – both in raising funds for the Foundation’s important educational work and consolidating its standing in the community.
It was also a stunning evening of celebrating women “firsts”. Yosra Albakkar and Hadeel Baraka, the first two young women to arrive in Canada from the Middle East on full scholarships, spoke movingly at the gala about how Daughters for Life is helping to make their dreams come true. The Honourable Jean Augustine, the first African Canadian woman elected to the Parliament of Canada and subsequently the first black woman in a federal Cabinet and Ontario’s first Fairness Commissioner, introduced the special guest The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, the first woman Premier of Ontario. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, as Founder of The Daughters For life Foundation, presented the First Daughters for Life Leadership Award to Roberta Jamieson, CEO of Indspire and the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and in December 2001, the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. In attendance was The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, the first Canadian from a visible minority to be appointed Governor General of Canada.
Suhana Meharchand, the acclaimed co-host of of CBC News Now, led the evening as MC. The fundraising Gala featured a live art auction curated by leading Canadian artist Charles Pachter, who also served as a spirited auctioneer. It showcased a dazzling cross section of top Canadian painters in honour of the Foundation’s mission to develop the leadership potential of young women through the power of education. Participating artists included Jamelie Hassan, Diana Thorneycroft, Barbara McGivern, Marilyn Lighstone, Kathryn Bemrose, Huma Durrani, Victor Mitic and Ryan Dineen.
On hand to celebrate the success of Daughters for Life was The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation; Gerry Schwartz, Chairman of Onex Corporation; Salah Bachir, President of Cineplex Media; author Marci McDonald; novelist Katherine Govier; The Hon. Madame Justice Harriet Sachs; and Krystyne Griffin of the Griffin Poetry Prize. Over 360 guests came to celebrate and support the vision and work of the Foundation, which is breaking new ground in its mandate and scholarship programs work to provide girls, struggling with conflict and hardship in the Middle East, opportunities for higher education, regardless of religious or national affiliations. The proceeds from the night’s successful event go to DFL’s scholarship, fellowship and awards programs that help young women achieve their educational goals.