To kick off the month of April, we hit Palais Royale Ballroom on April 1 for the sixth annual Memory Ball.
Organized by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s Young Leadership Committee – an organization that is dedicated to the education of young Canadians on dementia – the event unites young professionals, community leaders and local philanthropists to raise money for the cause.
It’s a hot ticket in the Toronto spring charity circuit, and the event sold out weeks in advance just like it has in previous years. For the first time ever, the Memory Ball went with a theme. The Mind the Gap theme brought together our love for all things British and served as a reminder of the impossible-to-ignore gaps that exist in the world of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Not that many of the attendees needed the reminder.
Like many of us, the disease has affected most members of the Young Leadership Committee – whether they experienced it with aging grandparents, or even their own parents. Witnessing the devastation of the disease firsthand, many committee members act as caregivers to their family members. Co-founder of Memory Ball, Carolyn Poirier, is a caregiver to her mother who suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s – something that can affect people as young as in their 40s and 50s.
Hosted by Sportsnet anchor, Caroline Cameron – an avid supporter of Alzheimer’s awareness with a personal connection to the disease – the event was filled with no shortage of “memorable” talking points. This meant everything from an open bar (naturally) and fully loaded food stations to complement the passed hors d’oeuvres, to a well-curated interactive silent auction and a GIF-generating photo booth.
In addition to the sounds of Toronto “it” DJ Conor Cutz, a live band kept the well-heeled guests dancing with an assortment of fun and familiar British classics. A special party perk included a password-protected whiskey room from J.P. Wisers.
One activation asked guests to contribute to the event’s Mind the Gap sign by sharing their thoughts and words of wisdom via Post-it notes on the gaps that exists in the world of Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps on of the most well received – and totally unexpected – perks however, was found in the gift bags. As an epic end to a booze and stimuli-filled night, each gift bag included a burrito from the beloved Burrito Boyz.
The event raised an impressive total of $100,000 for the cause.
Photos by Nick Lee