The Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation welcomes the Lunar New Year with their 31st annual Dragon Ball. Being one of Canada’s largest charity galas celebrating Chinese New Year, they raised funds to support and expand the four Yee Hong geriatric centres across the Greater Toronto Area.
Since 1994, the organization has served over 26,000 seniors every year, whereby an increasing demand for long-term care in Ontario is needed. In the fall of 2020, their first residential hospice will open in Scarborough.
With over 36 business sponsors and 14 media sponsors, the guests could enjoy various sights and entertainment at the reception and silent auction rooms. The oyster bar by “Island Oysters” was a big hit, as well as “Crown Jewel Fine Dining” dim sum, savoury dishes from “Liuyishou Hot Pot”, “Gushi,” “Yu Steam Pot”, & “Kobe Teppanyaki”, and specialty drinks from “Hey Sugar”, “Hamona Coconuts”, & “Marathon Cafe”.
Although the Asian-themed 4-course dinner at the gala was splendid, the main talk revolved around the desserts; macarons from “Daango Cake Lab”, nitrogen ice cream from “Kanvas”, and Japanese cheesecakes from “H-Cafe”.
Taking place at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, 1200 guests attended, ranging from donors, sponsors, volunteers, staff, and government officials. Amongst the attendees were Victor Oh (Senator), Dr Raymond Cho (Minister for Seniors and Accessibility), John Tory (Toronto Mayor) and Frank Scarpitti (Markham Mayor), Hong Hong (Deputy Consul General of China), Emily Mo (Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Toronto), and Majid Jowhari, Jean Yip, Salma Zahid, Han Dong (Federal MP’s).
A captivating illuminated traditional lion dance with martial artists set the stage. Beautiful Han Dynasty dancers with flowing ribbons performed “ethereal murals inside the caves of Dunhuang” dance. Ms Mandy Wu, a Cantonese opera actress from Guangdong Cantonese Opera Theatre, Canadian-Chinese singers Angela Zheng and her daughter, Piaopiao Huang blessed the gala with their vocals.
Along with a new decade welcomes a renewed zodiac cycle and renewed goals. With everyone’s support, Dr Joseph Wong, the founder of Yee Hong, and Stephen Siu, the president of the foundation, are hoping to increase the number of beds in more long-term care locations, requiring $80 million more of the $300 million project within Toronto.
Photos by Nick Lee