The seventh annual Daughters for Life Gala was held at the Carlu in Toronto, on October 18, 2019. Three hundred guests, that included heads of Canada’s top educational institutes, titans of industry, prolific thought leaders and respected philanthropists, attended the fundraising gala in support of the mission that the Daughters for Life foundation has upheld since its inception, which is to educate the daughters of the middle east, and empower them to uplift their communities towards peace and progress.
The evening commenced with a glittering cocktail reception where guests were greeted by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the founder of the Daughters for Life Foundation. With the music of Radwan Talib in the background, guests participated in a silent auction to raise funds for the foundation’s ongoing efforts to provide educational scholarships to talented young women from the Middle East
Artist Mike Hammer’s popular blob art, an exclusive men’s suit from LGFG Fashion House were just some of the many coveted items that were being silently bid on during the evening. Guests were also invited to participate in an exciting raffle, with a chance to win a dinner for four at the glamorous French bistro and cocktail bar, Maison Selby by the famed Oliver & Bonacini group.
A photobooth run by Imagica entertained many guests who enjoyed being photographed with fun props.
The annual gala is an opportunity for the foundation’s generous donors, educational partners, and the local community to learn about the academic achievements of the scholars that they have been supporting. Daughters for Life scholar, Waad Hassan, an MA in English student at Brock University, delivered this year’s scholars speech. The brilliant Waad also moderated a panel discussion on stage with four other scholars of the foundation, who shared their journey of overcoming prejudice and adversity to achieve their dream of pursuing a college education.
Award-winning documentarian, author, and acclaimed radio host, Carol Off, emceed the night with her bright, hopeful, and empathetic personality. Following Dr. Abuelaish’s welcome address, guests were served dinner and the stage was taken over by the music of Forte band. The elegant voice of Nour Khedder rang through the historic walls of the Carlu, along with the artistry of Edward Tarzi on the guitar, Amir Khoury on the violin, and Johnny Bahri on the piano.
Every year, the gala honours three individuals who’ve shown exemplary courage in the face of tragedy, and have tirelessly persevered for justice and equality. This year, Dr. Jean Augustin, the first African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons, received the Trailblazer Luminary Award. Dr. James Orbinski, physician, humanitarian activist, author and leading scholar in global health, received the Luminary Award. And Mindy Corporon from the Faith Always Wins Foundation received the Courage and Inspiration Luminary Award. Mindy’s father and son were killed in a hate crime in 2014 in Overland park, Kansas.
After the raffle winner was announced, it was time to bring the curtains down on a beautiful night of inspiration and empowerment by Abdullah Snobar, the Gala Chair and Daughters for Life Board of Directors Member.