North York General Fundraiser: Heart of Fashion, in support of the mental health of women and children in the community

November 11, 2013 in Events, Good causes |

Lights, Camera Action and Fashion!!

On the evening of Saturday 2nd November I attended the Heart of Fashion (one of North York General’s “signature fundraisers”), “a sophisticated fusion of food, fashion and live entertainment”, held in the grounds of the Shops on Don Mills.

As you entered the staging area of the event cameras were flashing, purple lights were pulsing and up-beat music was playing in the background.  At this point you could have been forgiven if you thought you had entered a scene in Absolutely Fabulous, which of course it was, but wasn’t, if you catch my drift.

Glasses of wine and hors d’oeuvres were circulating on platters held by well dressed servers.  More substance was found in the many food stations supplied by local restaurants. 

Raffles, draws and auctions were held and mesmerized bidders moved prices higher for the benefit of North York General’s community mental health objective.  This was certainly exciting to watch.

Jeanne Beker was the “Honorary Fashion Show Chair” for the event; Jeanne is one of Canada’s most influential women in international fashion.  I remember watching her on FASHION TELEVISION 27 years ago, and she hasn’t changed a bit – she looked fabulous in her outfit and gave a wonderful speech on North York General Hospital and its work in the mental health area.

An information video on Phillips House came next: this is a Georgian style 15,000 square-foot mansion near North York General Hospital which “…is being transformed into an outpatient facility for children, youth and women’s mental health services….Phillips House will offer a wide range of programs under one roof in a welcoming setting aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, Ungar said.

At one time Phillips House was a centre for speech and language for children with speech issues  and was likewise run by North York General Hospital. And now North York General with the support of events such as these community donors is engaging in a $6-million redevelopment of this wonderful place.

For North York General, mental health care is one of our most pressing clinical priorities. We serve a huge number of patients with a wide variety of mental health needs, and the needs of our patient population will only continue to grow. The Hospital’s leaders have placed a critical emphasis on the future of mental health care in our diverse community, and the North York General Foundation has responded. ….With the support of our donors, we will raise $6 million to transform the Hospital-owned heritage estate of Phillips House into a progressive centre for outpatient mental health care, a program facility unlike any other in Canada. Phillips House will allow us to re-imagine how outpatient mental health care can be provided by a general hospital.”

And then the fashion show started with the models, the clothes and the up tempo rallying of the audience from Jeanne Becker.  A large number of fashion retailers took part: Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Barbuti, Browns, Guess, Melanie Lyne, Mendocino, Mexx, Nine West Shoe Studio and many others.

The entertainment was “absolutely fabulous” and upbeat, with live performances from Dr. Draw who i”s known as the first ever violinist to venture from rock and classical into electronic club culture..

Towards the end of the event Karl Wolf a Lebanese-born Canadian musician based in Montreal, Quebec rocked the stage with his hip hop urban beat that got the house rocking. 

This was a wonderful event and a worthwhile and important cause.  Thank you to all of those who too part and who helped organise this event.

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