2015 Gala Recap:
On Friday, the Looking Glass community gathered together to celebrate our past and share excitement for our future - and what a celebration it was! Some 400 guests joined the Looking Glass Foundation Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers at the Rocky Mountaineer Station for our 2015 Light the Way! Gala - the Foundation's 11th annual fundraiser.
Scotiabank's Senior Vice President, Winnie Leong, welcomed guests on behalf of the Gala's Presenting Sponsor. Ever-popular Howard Blank joined our lovely MC, Pamela Martin, for a rousing live auction. And the Moon Coin Show Band set the crowd dancing...
The highlight of the evening was father-daughter duo, Scott and Kaitie Hardy, who took the stage to share a personal story of their family's battle with eating disorders after Kaitie fell victim to the disease a few years ago. "A protective shell replaced the confident, funny young woman we knew", Scott reflected. "As a parent, I have never been so helpless or afraid. But that changed when we found the Looking Glass Foundation."
Kaitie joined her father on stage via video from Colorado, where she is completing her post-graduate work as a wilderness therapist specializing in eating disorders. "To me, the Looking Glass Residence was a safe home, and to them I was a person who just needed a bit of help," she remembers. "Without the Looking Glass Foundation, I wouldn't be where I am today - I'm not even sure I would be alive."
Opening the Looking Glass Residence (formerly the Woodstone Residence) was one of the Foundation's flagship achievements - the first-ever residential treatment center for eating disorders in Canada. A Summer Camp, online peer support program, and Scholarship program are among its other early initiatives.
"As much as we have been able to accomplish, so much more needs to be done," said Looking Glass Foundation Board Chair Malcolm Leitch and Executive Director Stacey Huget in their program welcome. "Today, the Looking Glass Foundation is continuing to innovate entirely new ways of providing support in all the places there are gaps - flexible models for group support throughout the province, facilitator training for volunteers, and prevention and early intervention workshops for those closest to youth at risk."
Our Light the Way! Gala raised $430,000 in support of Looking Glass Foundation services for people affected by eating disorders.
A big thank you to all our sponsors, auction donors and guests, and to Gala Chair Joanne Gordon and her amazing team of volunteers for all they did to make the night such a success. As co-founder Deborah Grimm said, "people suffering from eating disorders find themselves in a very dark place. Together, as a community, we are lighting the way for them - and for that, we are grateful."