Gala on “pause” in 2016

Thank you for your tremendous support and positive feedback about the 2015 Gala! From this we conclude that it was the best year yet! Many thanks to our great committee. You really rock! With five fabulous years under our belt, and the “reset” that retirement brings, we decided last spring, that the time was right to put the gala on “pause”.

Highlights of the 2015 gala
  • A 5th year of support for  People to People Aid Organization Canada (P2P) program for children orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia.
  • A partnership with a second charity, the Educate Lanka Foundation (ELF).
  • Net revenues over $30,000 for a total of $130,000 net
  • The continued support of MNP
  • Our first live auction
  • More space to mingle as we expanded the event to include LUMA and the TIFF Lounge.

Central to both charities are their sponsorship programs. We attended the 2015 American Economic Association Conference in Boston, both attending many sessions including; Developing Hope: The Impact of International Child Sponsorship on Self-Esteem and Aspirations. In studying the impacts of sponsorship both internal and external one finding was that “. . . child sponsorship strongly and positively impacts a wide array of psychological measures in children.” READ THE PAPER  We hope you might consider sponsoring a child or young person through P2P or ELF in lieu of attending the gala this year.

Retirement has freed up time to travel, and we travelled to Ethiopia with P2P Board member Ambaye Kidane and friends of P2P. We toured the country for a month and visited eight different cities and towns. A highlight of our adventures was meeting the young girl we have sponsored for six years and attending the Christmas party for all children taking part in the various programs run by HIDA, P2P’s partner organization in Addis Ababa.

An unmet hope for our gala was that we might get some dancing happening.  As it happened, we made up for that at the children’s party where we were quite exhausted by dancing for three hours at an altitude of 2600 meters.

Gangnum style in Addis (photo, John Chou)


The time involved in organizing a professionally produced event, powered by volunteers is immense. In the fall we hope to examine the feasibility of a Gala. The basis of this will be a strategy enabling us to raise at least $50,000. The first step would be to form a committee of individuals with the passion and determination it takes to bring more Major Gift donors and Corporate sponsors on board.

Ethiopia’s economy has been growing rapidly, but from a low base. Change brings its own challenges AND the country is in the midst of the worst drought in 30 years. More than ever your support matters. From the beginning we have been moved by the resilience of children in the face of unthinkable hardships. While we knew that intellectually, our understanding of this was profoundly deepened by our visit to this remarkable country.

Many, many thanks,

Pat Deutscher & Lynn Kobayashi
Gala Co-chairs

PS. Here’s a blog post about our trip