In celebration of Chinese New Year’s Year of the pig, the zodiac representing good luck and prosperity, Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation hosted their 30th annual benefit gala, “Dragon Ball”. Yee Hong is a non-profit organization for geriatric care was the first residential hospice built by the Chinese community in Scarborough.
The night was beautifully executed with a four-course dinner, lavish goods up for auction, and variety of performances paying homage to the Chinese culture. Dragon Ball brought together over 1200 guests, including many of Toronto’s top business, political, and community leaders. Some of the VIP guests among the attendees were Dr. Raymond Cho – the Founder and Chair of Yee Hong – and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.
This year’s Masters of Ceremonies were Metereologist Natasha Ramsahai and Richard Southern of 680 News. To begin the festivities of the night, the Chinese Collective Arts Association fluttered up their signature performance: “Joyful Petals”, a choreographed dance with feathered-fans resembling graceful flower petals in the wind. World-class rope-skippers, flamenco dancers, and singers from the Canadian Opera Company also captivated their audience with their talent. The most impressive performance was an electrifying LED-lighted “Dragon Dance” performed by 30 Kung-Fu artists.
Helena and Terry O’Connor were the recipients of 2019’s Golden Achievement Award, an honour given by Yee Hong’s Board of Governors for devoted volunteers.
From Aga Khan Museum to Audi Uptown, some of this year’s supporters, sponsors, and partners contributed to making the night extraordinary. At the reception, guests enjoyed some of the local restaurant fare within the GTA, such as QJD Peking Duck Restaurant, Kobe Teppanyaki & BBQ, and Yu Steam Pot. The gala dinner featured mouth-watering dishes, like the main course; a beef tenderloin “togarashi” doused with sherry-scented jus, with a crisp medley of wild & sticky rice cake, and a side of tender baby carrots, broccoli rabe, and chayote squash. Post-dinner bites were catered by 7-Cake Boutique, Chatime, and Marathon Donut & Cafe. Over $1 million in funds were raised, netting over $20 million dollars over the last 3 decades.
The charity profits will support the construction of a palliative care-centre, set to be finished later this year. Scarborough and Mississauga will also anticipate two new locations – with over 554 beds – by 2022.
Photos by Nick Lee