By Dianne Cornish, REVIEW STAFF
Since last July, breast cancer survivor Vicky Harrison of Waterdown has been working with a volunteer committee of area residents to organize a gala fundraiser that will help in the fight against the disease. Her work, along with that of about 10 others on the committee, including committee chair Sandra Krueger, also of Waterdown, will culminate on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) with the second annual Shooting for the Stars Gala, an evening of dining, dancing and live entertainment at the Burlington Convention Centre.
The event, which will raise money for a new ultrasound machine for the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre (BAC) at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton, will also include a silent and live auction, featuring items donated by local individuals and businesses. There have already been donations of NHL hockey tickets, jewellery, designer clothing and fashion accessories, said Harrison, while noting that organizers are encouraging other donors and corporate sponsors to step up in support of the fundraiser.
Providing a new ultrasound machine for the BAC will help streamline breast cancer screening and diagnosis for the women of Hamilton, Brantford, Burlington and beyond, Harrison said. “It will speed up the wait process for anyone at high risk,” she explained, adding that it will also reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by women as they wait for test results and treatment.
The self-employed businesswoman and owner of Vicky Harrison Designs, which specializes in custom-made jewellery, invites local residents wanting to donate an item to the auctions to contact her at 289-431-6026 so that she can arrange a pickup of their donation. The gala event is “a nice way to help others while also having a romantic evening along with dinner and a dance,” she said.
Noting that the big event is less than three weeks away, Krueger, owner of Vogue Models & Talent in Burlington, said committee members are “very excited” about seeing it roll out and eager to promote the fundraising evening.
Festivities will start at 6 p.m., with tickets available on the event’s website at www.shootingforthestarsgala.com or by phoning 905-308-5875. For $175, tickets entitle the bearer to complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a four-course gourmet dinner including roast beef tenderloin, live entertainment by Grammy and three-time Juno Award winner Liberty Silver, the silent and live auction, an open bar, plus the chance to support a worthy cause.
Among those attending will be honourary guests, Charles and Margaret Juravinski of Greensville, faithful supporters of the hospital and the BAC.
Founded last year by Dawn Blaney, a breast cancer survivor from Burlington, the gala proved to be a good vehicle for raising much needed funds for the BAC. Organizers hope to build on the success of the inaugural event at this year’s Valentine’s Day extravaganza.