Dragon Ball 2018@MTCC-Saturday, February 10, 2018
By A.J.Lam and BK on the SCENE
Dragon Ball 2018 celebrates the Chinese New Year of the Dog!
1,200 celebrants attended Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation’s sold-out 29th annual prestigious Dragon Ball at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The annual Dragon Ball is the annual signature fundraising gala for Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation. It is one of Toronto’s premier gala events and the largest fundraising gala celebrating Chinese New Year, in addition to being the largest Chinese New Year Celebration of its kind in North America.
For the first time, this year’s Dragon Ball was supported by 30 corporate sponsors, including longstanding principal sponsors BMO Private Wealth Management, Manulife, HSBC Bank Canada, and Helen Ching-Kircher of DFC Auto Group (owner of Downtown Porsche and Audi Uptown). Prior to a delicious four course gourmet meal served in the dining area, the gala’s Grand Reception was amply supplied by 9 restauranteurs providing delicacies such as fresh succulent oysters and Peking duck. Throughout the evening, 300 items were available at the gala’s silent auction. Among the many silent auction donors, Holt Renfrew graciously provided a multitude of luxurious bags including a very fashionable Stella McCartney backpack valued at $1200.
This year’s theme of “Diversity and Fusion” was seen throughout the gala with many East-meets-West elements. With the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto), Canadian photographer Randy VanDerStarren exhibited his photographic series “Take Your Seat”, which reflected upon Canada-Hong Kong’s common mission on environmental protection.
Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services; Senator Victor Oh; Chinese Consul General He Wei; Ms. Kathy Chan, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Toronto; Deputy Toronto Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong; Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitta; former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion; City of Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie were all in attendance. Other VIP guests included federal MPs Shaun Chen, Jean Yip, and Jenny Kwan of Vancouver East riding.
Yee Hong’s Founder and Chair of Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, Dr. Joseph Wong, said, “Twenty-three years ago, the dream of a place where Chinese seniors could grow old with dignity and respect was fulfilled when the first Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care was built. Today, four long term and geriatric care centres plus various life-lease apartments are under the umbrella of Yee Hong. Looking forward in the New Year, we are expanding our dreams to build the first residential hospice in Scarborough so let’s work hard to turn this dream into a reality”.
Throughout the evening, patrons were entertained by amazing singers, in addition to a Traditional Chinese Lion Dance accompanied by a couple of elegant skaters, a canine troupe, a young girls dance troupe, and a Yee Hong seniors drum dance troupe. The gala’s silent and live auctions presented guests with opportunities to acquire unique items or experiences while donating to a very worthy cause. A trio of lucky patrons won the live auction’s prized luxurious items: a fashionable Hermes Bag valued at $11,000; a dazzling diamond necklace by BIRKS; and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Kenya provided by Delta Airlines. As a grand finale, the Dragon Raffle, with the ultimate prize of a $40,000 Audi A3 donated by Audi Uptown, will be launched soon.
The funds raised help support the culturally and language appropriate care and services provided by Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care to seniors of various ethnic backgrounds in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
We would like to thank Cathy Zhou-FDN, for the invitation to this event.