This year marked a pivotal point in the Children’s Aid Foundation’s evolution. From the establishment of its first Young Persons Advisory Council to incredible events like the Women’s Golf and Joe Carter Classics, Recognition Night and Teddy Bear Affair. Celebrities attended Foundation events in full force this past year. The astounding list included Wayne Gretzky, Anthony Anderson, Joe Carter, Doug Gilmour, Julius Erving, Brian Wilson, Deepa Mehta, Elizabeth Manley, Tracy Moore, Charlie Ayers and a host of others. 2013 has truly been a monumental year and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.
See the recap of the major milestones that were achieved over the past 12 months below.
Women’s Golf Classic
Last summer, top women executives from across the Greater Toronto Area arrived at the Eagles Nest Golf Club in support of our annual Women’s Golf Classic sponsored by Rogers. The event was attended by Oscar-nominated director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta as well as Olympic gold medalist Marnie McBean and three-time figure skating champion Elizabeth Manley. Other notable celebrities in attendence included Comedienne Meg Soper, Sami Jo Small, Vicky Sunohara, Angela James, Evanka Osmak from Rogers Sportsnet, Jillian Vanstone and Trista Sheen, a finalist in Top Chef Canada. Those who attended the event raved about it being an incredible experience.
625 students received graduation awards through Scotia Stay in School program and 941 children & youth received Scotia Stay in School Awards
Joe Carter Classic
Sponsored by BlackBerry, Canada Goose, and TD Bank Group this star-studded, sold-out event was held on the greens of Eagles Nest Golf Club. Filled with friendly competition it was attended by major sports stars and celebrities including Wayne Gretzky, Joe Carter, Anthony Anderson, Damon Allen, Marcus Allen, Doug Gilmour, Eric Lindros, P.K. Subban, Gordie Howe and many more. Proceeds from the event have helped the Children’s Aid Foundation fund the education and development of vulnerable young people in Canada through the Joe Carter Scholarship Fund and the Joe Carter Family Support Fund. Since 2010, the Joe Carter Classic has raised and pledged over a combined $750,000 to benefit the Children’s Aid Foundation.
Young People’s Advisory Council
This year marked the establishment of the Young People’s Advisory Council, a group comprised of former crown wards between the ages of 18 and 29 to offer guidance on the Foundation’s initiatives and investments. These are the kids who benefited directly from the Foundation’s funding and provide a first-person connection to the areas of greatest need in the care system.
Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey leads session for victims of child abuse
R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and spokesperson for sexual abuse, hosted a session for other young victims of abuse through the team’s charitable foundation – Jays Care. Joined by children from child welfare and Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention services, Dickey shared his personal story of abuse and encouraged other abuse victims, including Foundation youth representative Yuan Barnes, to find the courage to speak up about their experiences and not to stuff them down.
This year marked our 14th annual Recognition Night hosted by Cityline’s Tracy Moore. The host of Cityline shared her experiences from Recognition Night on-air recently. “I was humbled by their [scholarship recipients] greatness. To know they’d been separated from their siblings and they had gone to 10 different foster homes and sometimes been in abusive situations, and to see them coming out with degrees – it was incredible,” Moore said.
Established to recognize scholarship recipients, volunteers and scholarship donors, Recognition Night is set to become one of Toronto’s most inspirational events. Hosted at Koerner Hall within The Royal Conservatory of Music the venue is a spectacular and befitting setting for an event which celebrates the resiliency, strength and accomplishment of vulnerable young people who overcome incredible obstacles on the way to creating better lives for themselves.
New website launched
The Foundation upgraded its website with an exciting new look. Many of you may recall that a major overhaul ocurred the year before with the generous support of Fidelity Investments. Though ongoing evaluation and evolution the Foundation has been moving towards creating a user experience that is more powerful and human in efforts to bring its donors, stakeholders and the public closer to the the young people it helps.
Foundation launches radio PSA, aims for TV
With the generous support of the Slaight Family Foundation, the Foundation produced its first national public service announcement (PSA) for radio. Heard on 55 stations across Canada, including the Bell Media network, the spots indicated that with support, young people in the child welfare system could thrive and succeed. Continuing its efforts to educate the public on the complex needs of vulnerable young people served by child welfare agencies the Foundation has produced a television PSA with hopes of obtaining distribution through donated space.
With over $2 million raised, Teddy Bear Affair California was our most successful event to date and broke all fundraising records. Guests were swept away to the Golden Coast and basked in an evening of incredible foods, spectacular Napa Valley wines and extaordiary entertainment. From the culinary artistry of Google’s former executive chef, Charlie Ayers to once in a lifetime entertainment provided by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Beach Boy co-founder Brian Wilson guests raved about their experiences – and shared them through social media at the event.
Holiday Season Celebration
The annual Holiday Season Celebration at the elegant Fairmont Royal York Hotel, warmed many hearts on a very cold day. Established to provide gifts and Holiday cheer to children and families in the child welfare system, hundreds of smiling faces were seen enjoying donated toys and live music. A big thank to all the donors and volunteers who made this holiday celebration truly magical.