The Oceana Ball is a celebration of children’s health and Canadian art, fashion and philanthropy in support of the Herbie Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children.  The name Oceana, is inspired by water and for the entity that connects us all, bettering humanity by uniting it together.

With philanthropists and celebrities in attendance, it was quite a full agenda at the Oceana Ball starting with a reception with hors d’oeurves, silent auction for a long row of photography for sale and glamorous photo shoots at the Liberty Grand Complex.

Then we were all directed to the dining hall where speeches and videos showing the story of how the Herbie Fund started, and how Paul and Gina Godfrey rallied the philanthropists of Toronto to donate generously to cover the hospital costs of Herbie Quinones of Brooklyn, New York.  In February 1979, Herbie came to Toronto to have his lifesaving operation and then returned back home to New York a healthier, happier kid.  Today, Herbie is a healthy adult.

The evening also featured a live auction, aerial silk performance, ballet, and an uplifting music performance by Jully Black who was wearing VAWK, the featured fashion design of the Oceana Ball with Sunny Fong in attendance as well. It was great to see Kardinal Offishall casually hanging out late into the night. He’s so approachable! And Lyriq Bent is a pretty friendly guy, too.

In a decadent gala like this touching on a children’s charity with an abundance of art, fashion, celebrities and entertainment we look forward to seeing what Oceana has to offer in the future. Also, look for VAWK on the cover of Oceana Magazine 2012.

Miss Universe Canada 2010, Elena Semikina, looks stunning in this dress at Oceana Ball

Notable guests in attendance include Suzanne Rogers

Appetizers at the Oceana Ball’s reception

The one and only Michael “Pinball” Clemons

The charismastic Glen Baxter

Brittney Kuczynski in a gorgeous dress

David Dixon

Jully Black wearing VAWK, the featured fashion designer of the evening

The Herbie Fund’s mission is to bring children from around the world to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) for life-saving or life-altering surgeries – surgeries that are not available to them in their home countries because of high costs and lack of medical expertise. The Herbie Fund believes that we must do everything in our power to ensure their health and well being.

In 1978, Herbie Quinones of Brooklyn, New York, was born with a rare birth defect that made it hard for him to breathe. Every time he swallowed became a life-threatening situation. He needed an operation that was developed by Dr. Robert Filler at SickKids, but his family could not afford the cost of the trip or the surgery.

After reading about Herbie in local newspapers, Paul and Gina Godfrey led an effort in which the people of Toronto generously donated money to cover Herbie’s hospital costs. Dr. Filler offered to perform the surgery without a fee. In February 1979, Herbie came to Toronto for this lifesaving operation, returning to Brooklyn a much happier and healthier little boy.

After all of Herbie’s medical expenses had been paid, the account that had been opened to cover the costs of his care had $17,000 remaining. The Godfreys established The Herbie Fund with this account, to be used to help other children like Herbie Quinones.

To support The Herbie Fund, click here.

This video about the Herbie Fund, or some variation of it, was shown at Oceana Ball 2012.

Unique in being the first national, charity-based periodical, the Oceana magazine celebrates the marriage of high-end Canadian fashion, art, photography, and leadership. Each year, the magazine artistically exhibits thirteen (13) original pieces of art created by twenty-six (26) of Canada’s leading fashion designers and photographers against the stunning backdrop of our national geography while also profiling several influential and iconic Canadians. For more information about the Oceana Ball, click here.


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Nick Lee

Editor and Photos at