Igniting hope: a heartfelt evening at the SickKids’ Fired-Up Gala

February 28, 2024

As I stepped into the grandeur of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Toronto on that unforgettable Friday, Feb.23, I was immediately swept away by the palpable sense of anticipation and excitement in the air. It wasn’t just any evening — it was the SickKids’ Fired-Up Gala, a beacon of hope and healing for burnt victims in need. Little did I know that this event would touch my heart in ways I never imagined possible.

The reception was seamless, a blend of elegance and indulgence that set the stage for an evening of giving and generosity. From the gleaming oyster station to the premium open bar, every detail had been meticulously curated to ensure that guests felt not only welcomed but also embraced by the warmth of the cause they had gathered to support. Passed hors d’oeuvres danced on silver platters, teasing the senses and inviting guests to savour each delectable bite.

But it wasn’t just the culinary delights that captivated attendees — it was the myriad of activations that greeted them at the venue. Among them stood the glamorous “glam bot,” a Hollywood-inspired photobooth that beckoned guests to step into the spotlight and strike a pose. The line snaked around the room as people eagerly waited for their turn with anticipation.

As I watched the festivities unfold around me, I couldn’t help but notice the silent auction — a treasure trove of fashionable and stylish pieces that spoke to the generosity of the community. From designer items to exclusive travel experiences, the auction boasted an impressive array of items, each one a testament to the unwavering support for the cause at hand.

But it was the live auction during the seated dinner that truly stole the show, showcasing some of the most coveted items of the evening. A dream trip with Turkish Airlines promised adventure and discovery, while signed shoes by the legendary Christian Louboutin left fashion enthusiasts breathless with anticipation. And then there was the incredible piece of art by the local artist Max Jamali, a masterpiece that captured the essence of hope and resilience.

The Fired Up Gala wasn’t just about raising funds — it was about raising spirits, offering hope to those who needed it most. And for me, this cause hit closer to home than I ever could have imagined.

My son was once a victim of a burn accident at the young age of three. I still remember the fear and helplessness that consumed me as I watched him struggle to heal from his injuries. But through the grace of organizations like the Burnt Victims Unit at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, we found the support and strength we needed to navigate those dark days.

So as I stood among the crowd, surrounded by the shimmering lights and the sound of laughter, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for the doctors and nurses who helped my son heal almost without any scars.  And gratitude for events like the Fired Up Gala, which not only help victims of fire but also offer solace and support to their families.

As the evening wrapped up, there were some late night snacks and a performance by Karl Wolf. The event was a testament to the sincerity of purpose. Every glamorous outfit and impeccably styled attendee represented a commitment to making a difference. The Fired Up Gala was a beautiful spectacle, but its true beauty lay in the hearts of those who gathered, each sharing a common goal — to ignite hope for a brighter, healed future.

Photos provided courtesy of George Pimentel.


Story by Ada Yakobi

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