The OCCSC 2016 Annual Fundraising Gala was successfully held on Dec 1st, 2016. This year’s focus was raising funds not only for immigrants but also for refugees, to help integrate them in their new city, Ottawa. The high point of the evening was the host, CBC reporter Judy Trinh, whose family, as former refugees from Vietnam, received help from agencies like OCCSC told the story of her family and encouraged the general public to donate to the cause. The Syrian refugees who received help from our agency also voiced their gratitude on this special occasion. The evening’s fundraising activities raised $48,200.
Here are the highlights
More than 300 hundred people gathered at the Oriental Chu Shing Restaurant, including MP Chandra Arya, Ottawa Deputy Mayor Bob Monette, City Counselors Diane Deans, Rick Chiarelli, and Riley Brockington, representatives from the Ottawa Police Services, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada, The Libyan Embassy, President of the Muslim Association, CICCD President, Kevin Smiley of Surai Tea, Dr. Elwafi and Dr. Anwer political and business leaders, political and business leaders and Chinese community members, staff and volunteers. MP Chandra Arya read Prime Minister Justine Trudeau’s message. The minister of IRCC, John McCallum, provided a video greeting, while Ottawa Deputy Mayor Bob Monette personally delivered his speech. The Deputy Mayor highly praised the important role OCCSC had played during the settlement of Syrian refugees in Ottawa.
The audience was captivated by the breathtaking story of Gala host Judy Trinh. Judy once was a refugee escaping from Vietnam with her family on a boat. She was 4. One night, together with her family and other refugees, she jumped into the cold sea water and swam to shore. After landing in Canada, assisted by a settlement agency like us, the family settled which then set up the opportunity for more members of the family to arrive through immigration. Today, the extended families, who are contributing to Canada through various careers, have privately sponsored Syrian refugees.
Talking about the motivation for starting our Syrian Refugee program, OCCSC Executive Director Sharon Kan said “in the beginning of their journey, that immigrants and international students including her at one time received great assistance from settlement agencies.” The help from Canadians of different ethnic backgrounds deeply touched her. Therefore, OCCSC has been committed to changing the lives of the refugees.
The volunteers of OCCSC’s Happy Kitchen program produced hand-made flowers which were displayed on the tables. These volunteers, together with Syrian refugees, also baked more than 2000 cookies and packed them into gift packs for the guests to take home.
One of the sponsors, Scotia Bank, donated a table dedicated to OCCSC’s clients and volunteers. These clients expressed their deep gratitude with a small speech for OCCSC’s generous support.
The silent auction gifts were generously provided by the City of Ottawa, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada, VIA Rail Canada, 3M Canada, local museums, recreation centers and sponsoring businesses.
305 guests bought Gala tickets, and more than 60 people, including performers, volunteers and staff members, actively performed, took photos, supervised the stage, or sold lucky draw tickets to the crowd.
One of the fundraising activities was an online auction, media sponsored and operated by ComeFromChina.com that ran between November 11th and 18th. Thanks to our auction gift sponsors, including the $10,000 interlock driveway paving project donated by Lionscape Paving Inc., the $1,000 winter tire service donated by Onion Auto Service, the $1,000 travel certificate donated by VIA Rail Canada and the $1299+ tax range hood donated by Heartwood Kitchens and Baths. The results were announced at the Gala and the funds raised through these gifts reached $8,450.
The performances were: Love Song “When I hug You” performed by the Syrian refugees Ismail Elnamis (keyboard) and Mohammad Nasser (vocals), Chinese folk dance Red Lantern performed by the Jinyu Dance Group, “On Wings of Song” performed by our LINC coordinators, Wenli Zhu and Amy Yi, and last but not least, the dance “Show me Your Jalwa-Sheila Ki Jiwani” performed by the Bollywood For Fun dance group.
33 lucky draw gifts including the top prize “The Mysterious Gift Basket” (3M Canada gift basket worth $250), OCCSC gift baskets, which included brand-name wallets, chocolate and fine wine, other prizes included many wine-and-chocolate gift sets as well as restaurant gift certificates. Onion Auto Service provided each table with a mystery gift: Tire Alignment Service worth $100. The lucky draws and the surprises brought the Gala great excitement.
After paying the cost of the dinner event, the funds raised during the Gala will be directed towards the programs helping all new immigrants and also supporting the Services for Syrian Refugees Program.
Thanks again to all the sponsoring companies, groups, individuals, all those for purchasing Gala tickets and tables, donating money and gifts, staff and volunteers for making the Gala event such a success. OCCSC would like to thank the following sponsors and donors (listed in alphabetical order.)
OCCSC Staff at the gala
|Otto’s BMW & Otto’s Subaru|
|Bank of Montreal||Henry Global Group||Pharm Can Drug Mart||Phoenix Homes||Urbandale Construction|
|Capital Funeral Home & Cemetery – Gable Fung||CIBC||Onion Auto Service||Royal Bank of Canada|
|Scotiabank||Sun Life Financial – Connie Tang||TD Bank Group||Tri Optical|
|Heartwood Kitchens & Baths||Lionscape Paving Inc.||Onion Auto Service||VIA Rail Canada|
|CBC News||ComeFromChina.com||CFC News Weekly||OTTAWAZINE|
•Bank of Montreal
•Hulse, Playfair & McGarry
•Ottawa Police Service
•Pharm Can Drug Mart
Corporate and Individual Donor’s lists:
•Bob Monette, Deputy Mayor, City of Ottawa
•Calypso Water Park
•Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation
•Chang Wang and So-King C Wang
•Cosmic Adventures Inc
•Councilor Michael Qaqish, Ward 22 Gloucester-South Nepean
•Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada
•Friend of OCCSC
•Gray Line Ottawa
•Hak Ming Yuen
•Herbert Seymour Kassman
•Hulse, Playfair & McGarry
•Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa
•Lady Dive Tours (Amphibus)
•Lau, Yik Yu
•Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
•Midway Family Fun Park
•National Gallery of Canada
•National Gallery of Canada Membership division
•Oegema, Nicholson & Associates Insurance Brokers
•Onion Auto Service
•Otto‘s BMW & Subaru
•Patrick Huang & Qing Wang
•Peter Underhill, CEO of the Royal Canadian Legion
•Pink Kam Peck
•Pure Yoga Ottawa
•Robbie’s Restaurant Italian Restaurant (St Laurent Blvd)
•Rockport Boat Line
•Sally Qing Zhang
•Sea King Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant
•Stella Luna Gelato Café
•T & T Supermarket Ottawa
•Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Canada
•The Haunted Walks
•The Ottawa Muslim Association
•The Ottawa Senators Foundation
•VIA Rail Canada Inc.
•YangMing Asian Buffet”
•Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre
•Yi Mei Bai
•Yinping Wang and Pan Yang
•Zhou, Bi Yu