Families and community members came together at the Embassy Grand Convention Centre to support Shining Through’s 21st year of educating children and youth with autism in the Greater Toronto Area.
Guests were greeted and directed to their tables by our registration volunteers. Across the foyer was a wide array of silent auction items displayed for bidding. From sports memorabilia to artwork and jewellery, guests were able to bid on hundreds of items. There was also a fun photo-booth for picture time.
In the elegant hall, a beautifully displayed antipasto bar was set up and accompanied by a cocktail reception to help guests get acquainted with each other over scrumptious bites and drinks.
One of Shining Through’s learners, Julian Trozzo returned this year to lead O’Canada. This year’s surprise guest was the group of Shining Through learners that attended the gala, dressed in Shining Through Stars hockey jerseys. A couple of our board members met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day before the gala, he showed his support by getting one of the team’s jersey. The annual “Patricia Cesario award” for recognizing volunteers was presented to Cesar Pandolfi for his hard work and commitment to Shining Through.
Board President, Fred Santini, gave a heartfelt speech about the history of the Shining Through Centre, his journey with the other parents of the centre and the tremendous impact Shining Through has on the lives of those that walk through its doors. He rounded up his speech by sharing an uplifting video where children at Shining Through shared their achievements and their dreams for the future.
A big thank you to everyone who played a part in making the 21st annual gala a success. Thank you to the Gala committee for excellently planning and executing a world-class event. To our dedicated families, friends, staff, and volunteers who spent months behind the scenes creating the unique experience that the Shining Through gala is known for, we thank you. To everyone that attended our gala, we thank you for your support. Without all of you, we would not be able to give the children we serve the skills they need to reach their maximum potential.