On an evening of dark gray skies and pouring rain, the Peacebuilders International Spring for Peace charitable gala helped to shine a ray of light on the futures of many young people with troubled pasts.

The Toronto based Peacebuilders was established in 2002 and, for the last 12 years, has helped local youth to improve their lives by empowering them to overcome personal challenges and providing them with support in the justice system.

The charitable fundraiser took place Daniel’s Spectrum on Dundas West, beautifully decorated as an indoor garden with tall trees, reinforcing the themes of life, strength and sustainability.

Peacebuilders founder and CEO Eva E. Marszewski spoke briefly about the organization, its work and the impact that it has had on the young people in the local community. Eva announced that Peacebuilders is further expanding its reach, starting to work with the Eastdale Collegiate Institute in Riverdale.

The organizers of this year’s gala infused the evening with a cornucopia of treats for all the senses. The Moveable Feast and South Street Burger took care of the gastronomic delights and healthy appetites, while the Ron Davis Quartet filled the airwaves with the sounds of smooth jazz. Gala patrons were also treated to a silent, and even a super silent auction filled with priceless packages, experiences and a plethora of fine wines.

As the evening progressed from the Gala to the After Party, Toronto’s own rockers “Shaking Hands” took the stage with a fun and energetic set of original songs and classic covers from The Beatles and The Zombies, taking the audience down 60’s rock memory lane and up on their feet on the dance floor! DJ Class!ck kept the party going late into the night.

The messages of hope and gratitude, and the testimonials of the benefitted youth were showcased throughout the evening and the event space, reinforcing the impact and the value of Peacebuilders International’s work and the importance of continued support, awareness and education about this important issue in our community.

For more info about Peacebuilders International visit www.peacebuilders.ca

After Party photos by Nick Lee

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