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Canuck Place Children’s Hospice Raises Over $275,000 at the 3rd Annual Gift of Love Gala in Abbotsford

February 21, 2017

Over 300 guests gathered at Abbotsford’s Quality Hotel & Conference Centre on Saturday, February 18th to support Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, BC’s pediatric palliative care provider, at the third annual Gift of Love Gala presented by MNP.

Sold out months in advance, the event was emceed by Breakfast Television Co-host, Riaz Meghji, and was attended by Canuck Place supporters including guests, volunteers, and sponsors and staff. Together this dedicated and generous group raised over $275,000 to support the critical care of BC’s children with life-threatening illnesses and the families who love them.

Gala Co-Chairs, Jennefer Vanderpol and Lisa Fershau led a passionate volunteer gala committee who connected with the Fraser Valley community to make this special event so successful.

“Over 40% of the children and families in the Canuck Place program reside in the Fraser Health Region so having this community support is truly special,” said Canuck Place CEO Margaret McNeil. “The funds raised at this event by our guests and community partners ensure we can continue to provide complex clinical care to children with life-threatening illnesses and help meet the growing need around the province.”

The evening also featured a moving personal story from Canuck Place parents and Abbotsford residents, Petra Fellinger and Rolf Schwuchow, whose son, four-year-old Nicolas, is on the Canuck Place program. Both parents eloquently shared their family’s profound experience caring for a child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 and the critical role Canuck Place has in their lives as they work through their daily challenges and the need for ongoing, regular support.

“Nicolas’ medical care can be labour intensive so being able to come to Canuck Place and have the nurses, doctors and volunteers step in is a huge weight off our shoulders,” said Petra. “This means we can simply focus on savouring the time we spend together. This time is a gift.” The story of their son Nicolas whose “spirit fills a room” captivated the audience and articulated the critical role Canuck Place plays in providing medical respite care for both children and parents.

Patrick Roberge Productions teamed up with Simon Cooksley Design to create a bold, stylish event experience inspired by the era of Prohibition which was complemented by the music of the Jennifer Hayes Trio and the Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir, as well as the Fascinatin’ Rhythm dancers.

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