November 02

CAMH Gifts Of Light Fundraiser Shopping Event@Holt Renfrew -Wednesday, October 30, 2019

By Sally Warburton
October 30 was a fundraiser for CAMH Gifts of Light held at the beautiful Holt Renfrew Store on Bloor Street, Toronto. The event included refreshments and tasty hors d’oeuvre and the chance to bid on several luxury items in the Silent Auction. Gifts of Light is a program where donors purchase gifts specifically chosen for CAMH patients to enhance patient recovery. Personal care items, dental care, arts & exercise programs and skill-building resources are all part. Some gifts are matched by generous donors.


Welcoming everyone was Chair, Gifts of Light Committee & Director, CAMH Foundation Board, Donna Slaight. A Performance by Bruised Years Choir led by Dora award-winning artist and producer Jim LeFrançois and musical collaborator Rob Jay started the evening. The group composed of Workman Arts member-artists with lived experience sang 3 songs including The Beatles – With a Little Help from our Friends and REM’s Everybody Hurts. Wonderful. The guests loved the collaborative singing of these singers who have all suffered from mental health or addiction. Studies say that choirs have the most health benefits – and those who sing together in a choir, their hearts beat together.

Author and well renown Psychiatrist Dr. David Goldbloom was introduced along with Dr. Stephanie Ameis and Dr. Chloe Leon who are both in the first decade of their careers. All three are Psychiatrists at CAMH. Their specialities include mood disorders, bipolar, early intervention, autism and depression. The bottom line is that People Get Better. Faster than they ever thought. People have a lot of resilience. If you know anyone in need, try to get support. Everyone gets better. It was a fascinating and informative discussion with questions from the audience after.

Then guests had the chance to explore every corner of Holt Renfew store (closed to the public for this event) for Charity Shopping in support of Gifts of Light. Holt Renfrew was already beautifully decorated for the holiday season with decorations and trees. Perfumes, makeup, shoes, dresses, designer clothing of every kind are at Holt Renfrew. A world of fashion inside. A wonderful experience with sales personnel to answer any questions.

Guests sampled delicious desserts from the sweet table buffet and then for those lucky ones who discovered the cheese, crackers and fruit buffet on the first floor – it was a gourmet treasure! A wide selection of delicious cheeses from the Cheese Boutique.
It was a wonderful evening of socializing, learning and shopping all while benefitting an important cause CAMH’s Gifts of Light program.

We would like to thank Karen Cleveland of CAMH for the invitation to this event.