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Big Brolly Gala for Homeless and BC Cancer Society Inspiration 2008

Oct 23, 2008

By Catherine "Cat" Barr

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I've never seen a million dollars raised in 20 minutes before, but thanks to an anonymous donor, the BC Cancer Foundation is once again proving that nothing is impossible. The aptly named 2008 Inspiration Gala was held last week at the Rocky Mountaineer Station and featured fabulous food and a stunning live auction. Then, out of nowhere, an angel bearing $500,000 stepped up to match, dollar for dollar, any cash donations made live. Auctioneer Greg Rollo was equal to the task and quickly paddles started popping up everywhere. First, $100,000, then $50,000 -- all the way down to $5,000. The cheering and applause was infectious and then it happened -- $1 million dollars. It was an emotional night all round as speakers at the podium honoured family members and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday was sung to 21-year old college basketball star and brain cancer survivor Carling Muir. Overall, $1.5 million was raised for the foundation in a truly magical evening that ended with a performance by Vancouver Circus School. Also congratulation go out this week to the great people at Cadillac Fairview and the Big Brolly Gala. Dal Richards and his orchestra headlined the sexy soiree at the HSBC Building where organizers put on the ritz to help raise funds for agencies that help support the homeless and mentally ill.

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bc_cancer_society_gala0001 MC and CTV news anchor Pamela Martin, left, and Premier Campbell's press secretary Bridgitte Anderson chat with speaker Dr. Brian Toyota at the BC Cancer gala.
bc_cancer_society_gala0002 Ryan Mellors, left, Gillian Thomson and Hector Adams of the Vancouver Circus School dazzle guests at the BC Cancer gala with a performance of Hanging Gardens.
bc_cancer_society_gala0003 Collecting raffle tickets for the BC Cancer gala Rolex watch draw are Chelsea Armstrong, left, and Janie Hungerford.
bc_cancer_society_gala0004 Artist Athena Bax, seen here with Scott Walker, is thrilled to see her painting bought by Rocky Mountaineer's Armstrong family.
bc_cancer_society_gala0005 BC Cancer gala supporters David and Jill Lyall entertain guests at their table.
bc_cancer_society_gala0006 Canucks' hunky conditioning coach Peter Twist is looking good with the beautiful Kim Heath on his arm at the BC Cancer gala.
bc_cancer_society_gala0007 Brain cancer survivor Carling Muir gets a big surprise from BC Cancer vice chair John Jennings as he leads the crowd in a round of Happy Birthday for the 21-year old athlete.
big_brolly_gala-6280 Guests Nicola Dohaney and Glenn Gardner enjoy the live music and more at the Big Brolly gala.
big_brolly_gala-6282 Volunteers and Cadillac Fairview staffers Judy Jung, left, and Ana Vidovic are perfect hostesses at the Big Brolly gala.
big_brolly_gala-6284 Martinis and jazz make a great combination for the Big Brolly gala - just ask volunteers Nila Allat, left, and Jackie Hamm.
big_brolly_gala-6285 Working together to make the Big Brolly gala a big success are Cadillac Fairview marketing director Sandi Green, left, and Gwen Hardy of Elettra Communications.



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