Toronto’s most prominent Diwali celebration raises $1.2M for UHN

On Saturday, October 20, 2018, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF) hosted its 8th annual Diwali – A Night to Shine gala, presented by Scotiabank, in support of emergency medicine and research at University Health Network (UHN). Held at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, ON, more than $1.2 million was raised as more than 600 guests came to together for this highly anticipated Diwali celebration.

“It is with great pride that we return as the presenting sponsor of Diwali – A Night to Shine,” says Brian Porter, President and CEO of Scotiabank, and UHN’s Board of Trustees Chair. “To all who attended Saturday’s gala – thank you. It is because of your generosity and support, UHN’s emergency departments will receive much-needed improvements to continue to provide life-saving care to patients in need.”

Diwali, the namesake of the event, is the South Asian “Festival of Lights’ that celebrates good health, hope, luck and prosperity. This year’s theme was “India: The Land of Diversity” and encouraged guests to experience the various influences integral to India’s rich and diverse culture.

Award-winning actress, playwright and dancer Anita Majumdar was the evening’s master of ceremonies as she took guests on a journey of India through dynamic performances and exquisite cuisine known to have shaped India today. Diwali – A Night to Shine educated guests on the impact of the Greek, Chinese, Persian, Portuguese, British and French cultures, revealing how these influences are prevalent in India’s present day dance, food, fashion and cuisine.

Additional event sponsors included: Ajmera Family, Richard and Nathalie Wachsberg, Ian and Kiki Delaney, Air Canada, Asian Television Network (ATN) and Royal de Versailles.

“Diwali – A Night to Shine has grown to become one of the most well-attended and distinguished Diwali celebrations in Toronto, but its impact reaches far beyond that,” says Raj Kothari, Chair of the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of Diwali – A Night to Shine. “Funds raised at Saturday’s gala well surpassed our expectations and will go towards enhancing emergency medicine and research at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals. It simply would not have been possible without the tremendous support and commitment of our sponsors and donors, and for that I am incredibly grateful.”

Since its inception in 2011, Diwali – A Night to Shine has raised more than $7.8 million (gross) for programs at UHN including Emergency Care, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Diabetes research, Transplant research and Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute. The UHN Diwali Gala has become the most well attended, prominent and high-end Diwali celebration in Toronto history.

Often the first point of contact for many patients, the Emergency Departments at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals combined treat 120,000 patients each year. Through a laser-focus on research and the use of cutting-edge technology, these teams are in constant pursuit of knowledge that enables rapid life-saving care.

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