About Last Night with Fred Lee: Photos from Night of Wonders and the VCC Flourish Gala

Children's Wish Foundation's Night of Wonders and VCC's Flourish Gala benefit kids and students.

May 10, 2018

By Fred Lee, @FredAboutTown

Children’s Wish Foundation’s Night of Wonders

The Venue
The Children’s Wish Foundation’s Night of Wonders Gala, unlike most hotel ballroom galas, is always staged in a unique and unconventional space. This year, the London Aviation Centre at the Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal was party central for the foundation’s high-flying affair, paying homage to the number of travel wishes the organization grants. The commercial airplane hangar was transformed into an exquisite party palace, underscoring the great lengths the firm goes to when granting the wish of a child living with a life-threatening illness.

The Chairs
Recent Top Forty Under 40 award recipient Kevin Mazzone of The Lazy Gourmet and Tiffany Soper, partner at Avenue PR, piloted the event’s fifth staging. The young professionals and social influencers led a dedicated group of difference-makers—business and community leaders—who convened to help celebrate the magic and power of a wish. They, along with emcee Sophie Lui and yours truly, welcomed a well-heeled crowd, many of whom were chauffeured or helicoptered in for the red-carpet do.

The Results
The spectacular evening of fine food and drink along with the heartwarming stories from Wish Families helped unleash a torrent of funds during the live auction of one-of-a-kind experiences and call for cash. The event’s 350 guests would generate $550,000—a new fundraising standard—for the Children’s Wish Foundation’s BC and Yukon Chapter, making it the largest and most successful gala in the chapter’s history. The record-setting haul ensures 55 local children and families will see their wishes granted this year.

Hotel Georigia’s Philip Meyer with Global TV news anchors Robin Gill and Sophie Lui.
Past Wish recipients Matthew Boroditsky and Jaimey Hamilton flanked Jennifer Petersen, Children’s Wish BC and Yukon provincial director.
Former B.C. finance minister Carole taylor and Pacific Blue Cross past president and CEO Jan Grude.
Tiffany Soper and Kevin Mazzone chaired the fifth Night of Wonders Gala.
Committee member Shannon Heth and Children’s Wish Foundation’s Hannah Smith.
Vancity’s Ryan McKinley and HUB International Insurance Brokers’ Carol Mills.

VCC Flourish Gala

The School
Vancouver Community College has helped build the careers of talented tradespeople and artisans. Home to the largest culinary school in Western Canada, VCC boasts an impressive, long and talented roster of alumni chefs, many working in the kitchens of Vancouver’s finest restaurants.

The Awards
Every year VCC celebrates its best and brightest—esteemed alumni and friends—who have made significant contributions to the 53-year-old institution and to their communities. Jim Storie, Doreen Wong, Nelly Gomez, Neal Russell and Leah Patitucci were feted, each having distinguished themselves with their unique stories of success, inspiration and giving back.

The After-Party
Following the formal presentations, award recipients partied down at Flourish, the school’s annual fundraiser for the VCC Foundation. A capacity crowd filed into the Broadway campus for the sophomore edition of the food and Naramata Bench Winery Association grazer that showcased the culinary talents of students, instructors and alumni, who came together to create tasty bites while raising scholarship and bursary funds to help more aspiring and talented students flourish.

Theresa Tran and Dee Dhaliwal’s Vancouver magazine sponsored Flourish, VCC’s annual food and wine grazer.
VCC alum Shelome Bouvette of Chicha Restaurant and VCC instructor Karen Gin.
VCC grads Tret Jordan of Homer St. Cafe and 2015 Sommelier of the Year Jason Yamasaki.
VCC culinary students Katherine Hong, Peter Yoo and Eunmee Hong.
VCC Foundation Executive Director Nancy Nesbitt and VCC President Dr. Peter Nunoda.

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