|Photos taken by Valerie Pyke|
Once again the very special event, Shopping From The Heart was a great success. This year was the event’s sixth year, held again at the Holiday Inn Pointe Claire. With a grand total of just under $5000 going to the three charities, I was thrilled to donate a $1350 check to the three foundations; Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation (NICU) and the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation (Maternity Ward).
It is wonderful to know that in just a few short hours with great friends, colleagues and brands, we managed to pool together and truly make a difference in the lives of mothers and children in need of the foundations we are supporting. With close to 40 women in business, the mood was infectiously positive and happy. Not only did the vendors come as businesswomen with their own products and services (with a raffle prize each), they also added to the total proceeds by purchasing tickets throughout the night, showing just how dedicated and passionate they are about giving back.
A new addition this year was the tables hosted by our children. They wanted to make more of a difference this year, and so they offered their artwork in exchange for donations to SFTH2016. As well, my boys sold items from Free The Children as an additional donation to a good cause. It was wonderful to see the intention made my children and the children of the volunteers.
The talents of so many wonderful people made the event successful. Thank you to all the local businesses that supported the event with raffle prizes and silent auction donations. A special thank you to my two volunteers, Pauline Fakhri-Deep and Bita Guzmán. Both were incredible help for me before and during the event. And I am happy to announce that they will both be helping again moving forward.
Shopping From The Heart has been a labor of love for me. It started out as a small idea; one that I hoped would grow. And while it has grown each year, I felt that there needed to be a change to make it bigger and better moving forward. To be honest, I have asked others, looked for advice and even considered taking a year off, unsure that I could make the event more successful on my own. And just as I was about to stop, I was approached by the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation. Seeing the efforts and results that SFTH has brought to them, they graciously invited me to partner with them exclusively. It was a difficult decision to move away from two other foundations that I hold dear, but it needed to be done. I hope to donate in other ways to the RVHF and the MCHF since they are significant to so many families in Montreal.
What This Means
Partnering exclusively with the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation made sense in many ways. First and foremost, they are the closest foundation geographically to the women in business that attend the event, as well as the event itself. Second, having a partner in the LGHF means that the event will take on new life with much more help outside. The foundation has many corporate sponsors and partners that will be ready to help in our efforts for our charity event. Visibility will be greater, and more connections will be made.
Change Is Coming
This year’s event is proving to be one that will change your idea of SFTH. I have been listening to many vendors, past and present, as well as attendees that have supported the event from the start. This year, all those suggestions and comments will be put into place with a new and improved event. While these changes are all still in the works, what I can share with you is that the event will be more creative and inspiring and will encompass a women’s event with pampering galore. Vendors will be notified much sooner on the date and details to ensure everything is organized and announced early. I look forward to working closely with the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation in making this event very special!