Earlier this year a small group of volunteers came together in Oakville, Canada, under the umbrella of Canadians for Global Care Society to plan and host a charity gala in support of the Kashmir Hospital Project, by MDAUK.
The vision of the novice organisers was to inform the professional South Asian Toronto community about MDAUK, and the work being done on the Kashmir Hospital. We hoped to raise a significant amount of money and awareness about this project.
The team, worked tirelessly for many weeks to organise a grand event, and on May 13 2011, more than 200 people from the Greater Toronto Area came together to enjoy an evening of fundraising, dinner and classical Qawali music. In attendance were many members from the local medical community, and also much of the South Asian business community. The Grand Victorian Banquet Hall made for a sumptuous venue, and the ambience was elegant and charming.
To help raise money, local businesses donated many items for the raffle prize draw and also for the silent auction. Items ranging from restaurant gift certificates, original canvass artwork, real gold jewellery, to PIA tickets were available to be won.
We secured the sponsorship from twenty local businesses, and our proud platinum sponsors of the event included Merck, and Pakistan International Airlines.
Dr. Mohammad Zubairi did an outstanding job as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. During dinner, the guests were serenaded by a live pianist, and the atmosphere was kept lively with an interactive fundraising game of ‘heads and tails’.
Dr. Yasmine Majeed, President of Canadians for Global Care Society gracefully welcomed the guests and Dr. Iftikhar to our Canadian forum.
Guest speaker, Dr. Tim O’Shea, Consultant in Infectious Diseases from McMaster University Hospital, Hamilton, spoke eloquently on the important issue of health advocacy at both a local and global level.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Yusuf Iftikhar. He illustrated the events and individuals that have moved and inspired him into his charitable crusade. His talk also highlighted the various projects being carried out by MDAUK. Dr. Iftikhar’s speech was extremely well received; his powerful speech and slideshow moved many people to donate generously to the cause.
After speeches and desserts, the guests were entertained by well known Toronto Qawali artist, Shahid Ali Khan, former student of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The uplifting music and melodic tunes brought the evening to a close on a dramatic high. The gala was a resounding success, and by the end, we raised over $40,000 for Project Hospital.
Our sincerest thanks to all of our speakers, in particular Dr.Majeed for founding CGC and to MDAUK and Dr. Iftikhar for coming all the way from the UK and making the event extra special.
Our deepest thanks go to all of the volunteers who worked with unyielding enthusiasm, without them this event would not have been as great a success. In particular thanks go to Shariq Haider, Zeba Haider, Mohammad Zubairi, Tania, Chaudhry, Sarah Khan, Faizan Amin, Yasir Khalid. Ala Hussain, Alizeh Hussain, Tehreem Mirza Samina Zubairi and Amira Zubairi, Waleed Chaudhry and Mohamad Alshurafa.
All thanks are to Allah for giving us this opportunity to maybe make a difference.