The 7th Daughters for Life Gala Dinner 2019

Every year, the Daughters for Life Gala brings together leaders in education, business and philanthropy to honour scholars and extraordinary individuals that have made a lasting impact on the international community. The gala also recognizes brilliant DFL scholars by providing them with a platform to share their stories and how the Canadian registered charity has helped them in pursuing their educational dreams.

The Seventh Annual Daughters for Life Gala will be held at the Carlu, Toronto on Friday, October 18th, 2019. 

2019 Award’s Recipients

The Trailblazer Luminary Award 
Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, PC, CM, CBE

The Trailblazer Luminary Award will honour the Honourable Jean Augustine, PC, CM, CBE, for creation large waves of change in her local communities and nationally as the first African-Canada woman to be elected to the house of commons. Jean continues to help and create opportunities for her community through many initiatives such as the Jean Augustine scholarship that aids single mothers and young entrepreneurs access post-secondary education.

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The Leadership Luminary Award 
Dr. James Orbinski

The Leadership Luminary Award will honour Dr. James Orbinski. Dr. Orbinski is the inaugural Director of York University’s Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research. As a medical doctor, humanitarian practitioner and advocate, best-selling author, and a leading global health scholar, Dr. Orbinski believes in actively shaping our world so that it is more just, fair, and humane.

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The Courage and Inspiration Luminary Award  
Mindy Corporon

An entrepreneur and former CEO of a successful wealth management firm. After reaching the pinnacle of her professional career and in the middle of raising two talented boys, tragedy struck. Mindy’s father and oldest son were murdered by a white-supremacist intent on killing Jews. She took action. Mindy started the Faith Always Wins Foundation and a community-wide event, SevenDays® Make a Ripple, Change the World. She formed high school programming for productive interfaith dialogue and now helps companies create healthy workplace environments so healing can occur after life’s tragedies.

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Master of Ceremonies

Carol Off

The world-renowned Carol Off will be the MC for this year’s Gala. Off is an award-winning documentarian, award-winning author and radio host. Her reporting expertise is unparalleled and extremely versatile.

She has covered a multitude of different environments as she has covered such places as the Middle East, the Balkans, Afghanistan, the United States and the former Soviet Union. She is a best-selling author of multiple non-fiction books depicting her unique journeys in the reporting world. She has won multiple awards for her outstanding achievements, include the Gemini award which recognizes outstanding achievements in Canada’s television industry. Currently, Ms. Off is the host of As it Happens on CBX’S Radio One.

Special Performance


A special performance by the fusion between oriental and occidental music, Forte Band will take place during the dinner.

FORTE Band (based in Toronto) is the result of a collaboration between Nour Khedder- vocalist, Johnny Bahri-pianist-accordionist, Edward Tarzi-guitar, and Amir Khoury -violinist. They met at the Canadian Arabic Orchestra during concert rehearsals. They come from similar musical backgrounds; classical, jazz, and oriental, however, each one added his/her own musical touch which resulted in a unique type of music. For those interested in a fusion between oriental and occidental music, FORTE is a band to look out for as the year progresses

Honorary Co-Chairs

Leslie Dan

Leslie Lewis Dan, CM OOnt, is a Canadian businessman and a pharmacist, he founded the CANMAP – Canadian Medicine Aid Program – in 1984, which charitable organization has been donating each year millions of dollars worth of medicines to the sick and poor patients in the underdeveloped third world.
He is the founder of a successful generic drug company and a noted philanthropist, he has been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. His perspective on helping others is formed out of faith in truths from the Jewish Torah and Talmud. From the latter, Dan has noted writings in the Bava Bathra chapters, including: “Charity is equal in importance to all other commandments combined.” And, “Who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses.”
A committed philanthropist, Michael Dan is a model of social responsibility and generosity. A former neurosurgeon, he has funded organizations that assist marginalized people in Toronto and helped to create the first privately-endowed research institute in the world geared to the unique health needs of Indigenous people.
His commitment to peace in the Middle East is exemplified by his support for The University of Haifa, the Michael and Amira Dan Professorship in Global Health at The University of Toronto, and the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem. Michael is a member of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. He holds three honorary degrees.

Michael Dan

Suleiman Rashid

Suleiman Rashid is one of our honorary chairs. A chartered accountant, Mr. Rashid, 76, comes from Haifa in Palestine. He is a partner in the firm Rashid & Quinney Professional Corporation in Vaughan, Ontario and until recently, served as a director of the public auto manufacturing company, Martinrea International Inc.
Executive Publisher and Executive Vice-President, Penguin Random House Canada: Founding Publisher of the renowned imprints Knopf Canada (1992) and Vintage Canada (1994), Louise has three times been voted Editor of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association. As an editor, she works directly with many of Canada’s most admired writers as well as with international writers of distinction, while also seeking out new voices in both fiction and non-fiction.
She is a recipient of the Order of Canada for her “contribution to Canadian culture”; a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; and winner of the Ivy Award for her contribution to Canadian publishing and writers. She is a Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, Bishop’s University, and a past President of PEN Canada.

Louise Dennys

Frank Gomberg

Frank Gomberg was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979 and for 20 years acted principally for plaintiffs in wrongful death and personal injury claims. Frank was designated a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada in January, 1990. Frank now spends all of his professional time mediating civil cases pending in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
He has mediated over 4,500 such claims since he began mediating in 1995. Frank is a graduate of the Harvard Mediation Workshop (1995) and of the Advanced MediationWorkshop (1996). He believes in the transformative power of apology as an element inmediated settlements. He has written a major research paper entitled “Apology the Unexpected Death of a Child in a Healthcare Facility: A Prescription for Improvement”. Frank has taught Trial Advocacy for the former Ontario Centre for Advocacy Training (OCAT), The Advocates’ Society, to law students at Osgoode Hall Law School and at Osgoode’s annual Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop (ITAW). He has lectured and written extensively on personal injury, mediation, negotiation and related topics. He has chaired or co-chaired numerous Advocates’ Society, Law Society and Ontario Trial Lawyers Association programs. He has taught for the Toronto Police Service.
Dr. Thomas Miller is an Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. He was a member of the Trent University Board of Governors for six years and in 2017 received the government of Ontario Volunteer Service Award (10 years of service). He has worked as an emergency physician for twenty-five years, mainly at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) and was Principal Investigator, Gaza Child Health Survey (Health of Children in War Zones Project, McMaster University 1993-2000). 
From 2002–2011 he held the positions of Chief/Medical Director of Emergency Services in one of Ontario’s busiest ERs. He has taken a leadership role in health system changes and quality improvement and is a recipient of the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation. He continues to be involved with health and human rights and facilitated the acceptance of the first Daughters for Life students at Trent University.

Thomas Miller

Rhonda Lenton

Rhonda L. Lenton became York University’s eighth President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1, 2017. Dr. Lenton joined York University in 2002 as Dean of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, then she served as York’s inaugural Vice-Provost Academic from 2009 to 2012, and then as the University’s Vice-President Academic & Provost from 2012 until April 2017. 
In 2019, she co-authored a landmark study of the Canadian Jewish community with colleagues from the University of Toronto and the Environics Institute for Survey Research. In addition to her roles at York, Dr. Lenton serves on Universities Canada’s Board of Directors and its Research Committee, the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) Government and Community Relations Committee, and she is both Chair of the COU Relationships Committee and Co-Chair of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) Board of Directors. She previously served on the Executive of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Prespidents and represented that Council on the eCampus Ontario Board and ONCAT. Dr. Lenton was named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in 2015, and in 2016 received the Angela Hildyard Recognition Award for the continual demonstration of innovative leadership in advancing the mission of, and achieving outstanding contributions to, her institution and to higher education.

2019 Gala Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

In-kind Sponsors

Unforgettable Moments from Gala 2018!

Previous Gala Partners