On Saturday, February 24, 2024, our Celebration of Care Gala – Midnight at the Ballet, welcomed over 600 of Surrey’s business, community, medical, and philanthropic luminaries at the Aria Convention Centre. With the community’s support, we raised over $1.7 million for cardiac care at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

This year’s theme – Midnight at the Ballet – invited guests into an ethereal space shrouded in candlelit beauty and mystery. With thanks to our Reception Sponsor, Qualico, guests enjoyed delicious cocktails and appetizers, while in the presence of alluring ballerinas pirouetting gracefully inside the reception. Guests were further swept away with enchanting melodies by a talented harpist and violinist duo; wine pixies suspended in the air; and a wonderful caricaturist.

The night’s excitement deepened as guests stepped into the ballroom, welcomed with a stunning performance from Goh Ballet accompanied by a pianist. This lovely surprise was provided by our Twilight Surprise Sponsor, Virk Viyas and Associate Lawyers.

With our hosts of the evening, Sonia Sunger from Global BC and Surrey Memorial Hospital’s very own, Dr. James Bond, the show began. Starting off with the dynamic duo, our Presenting Sponsors, David McFarlane from EllisDon and Ralph Berezan from Berezan Group, toasted to an evening of excitement and raising money for cardiac health.

Harp Dhillon, Chair of SHF’s Board of Directors, then took the stage to speak to a pivotal year in healthcare, applauding our healthcare heroes and thanking the government for supporting this important cause. He also introduced the audience to a moving tribute video honouring the late pioneer cardiologist, Dr. Tom Godwin, and his heroic contributions to cardiology services in the Fraser Health region. At this time, Harp announced the over $2 million leadership gift made by the Godwin family in memory of Dr. Tom Godwin. As Elaine, Tom’s wife, made her way to the stage, guests rose to their feet in standing ovation to commend the Godwin Family’s incredible leadership in transforming cardiac care in our community.

The party continued with a glow, as the Moonlight Raffle’s crescent moon lit up the evening affair. Thanks to our returning Raffle Sponsor, Air Canada Foundation, our raffle prize this year was two Business Class tickets valid for travel to any Air Canada destination. The more raffle tickets sold, the brighter the moon glowed. Thanks to everyone’s participation, the moon was beaming radiantly at the end of the night! The raffle was further supported with a matching donation by Tony Quo Vadis Foundation, bringing the raffle total to $93,900.

One of the most anticipated events of the night was the live auction, sponsored by BMO. It was an amazing auction, as well-loved Auctioneer, Fred Lee, inspired the crowd to lift their paddles one after the other. The room got heated as guests competed to win extraordinary prizes ranging from a trip to the Northern Lights to an exclusive VIP suite to see the award-winning artist Diljit Dosanjh live in concert, which, after a fierce bidding battle, sold for $21,000! This was the Foundation’s most successful live auction yet, raising a total of $157,000.

Following the excitement of the auction, guests were ready to indulge in the exquisite three-course meal prepared by our Dinner Sponsor, Fasken, and caterer Lazy Gourmet. The menu consisted of a variety of delicious flavours and textures beautifully nestled in each course, including the salmon en croute and king oyster mushroom saffron risotto. Our Wine Sponsor, Westland Insurance, and our Whisky Lounge Sponsor, Skye Avenue Kitchen and Lounge, completed the meal with perfectly paired wines and whisky.

The night continued on with touching words from Aileen and Ian Farrow. Twelve years ago, Aileen’s mom survived a heart attack, but not without having to transfer to another hospital after being stabilized at Surrey Memorial Hospital. After the transfer, forty per cent of her heart muscle had died. Luckily, they got to the cath lab in time. It gave Aileen and her family another decade with her mom.

Aileen goes on to say, “This is our time to stand up and make a difference for the future of our families. To give them the love and the care that they deserve, right here at home.” We are deeply moved by Aileen and her family’s story as it truly illustrates the importance of having accessible, excellent cardiac care in Surrey. We are reminded of our purpose and why we must persevere to bring the best healthcare close to home.

Following Aileen’s story, we welcomed Fred Lee back on stage to kick off our Fund-A-Need. It began with a generous donation from Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society as they gave $100,000 to support cardiac care. Spirits continued to soar as guests raised their paddles across the room. We are grateful to all of our Fund-A-Need donors, who collectively raised $481,500!

And with that, the midnight ballet was coming to a close. We are immensely proud and touched to announce that together with everyone’s support, we raised over $1.7 million. These funds will directly support the lives of many in our community, and transform cardiac care here in Surrey. It means saving the lives of many family members and allowing them to cherish one another longer.

The night finished off with a dance party as Dr. Strangelove Band performed on stage with a setlist that can make anyone move and groove on the dance floor.

The 2024 Celebration of Care Gala – Midnight at the Ballet was a success! It would not have been possible without the support of so many. We extend our gratitude to our Gala Committee; our Board of Directors; our Event Emcees, Dr. Bond and Sonia Sunger; our incredible Auctioneer, Fred Lee; our Live Auction donors; our volunteers from RBC; our long list of amazing sponsors; and of course, all of our guests! Thank you!

To check out some more photos from the event, visit our event page.

Thank you to our Live Auction Donors:

Thank you to our sponsors: