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4 standout memories from our inaugural Strangers in the Night Toronto event

POSTED September 19, 2022

4 standout memories from our inaugural Strangers in the Night Toronto event

Our CEO shares highlights from Children Believe’s gourmet charity gala

By Fred Witteveen, CEO,

Fred Witteveen, Children Believe CEO, shares a memory with The Jacksons and Karen Homer, interim communications manager at Strangers in the Night Toronto

Excitement, joy and hope were alive at our Strangers in the Night Toronto (SITNTO) gourmet charity gala held earlier this month in support of Children Believe and three partner children’s charities. It felt like a new beginning following two-and-a-half years of pandemic lockdowns and isolation.

More than 500 people came together to savour gourmet eats from trendy Toronto restaurants prior to the concert.

Guests danced in the setting sun to Spider Jones and the Fabulous Web, followed with a special performance by the Zhayvir Ukrainian Children’s Choir, conducted by Olesia Konyk.

We were honoured to have Shanelle Kaul, CP24 anchor and reporter, host the main stage event. Gala-goers enjoyed music from legendary performers The Jacksons, rock icons Honeymoon Suite as well as Juno-nominated crooner Alex Bird and The Jazz Mavericks.

We’re grateful to these outstanding performers and our nearly 20 sponsors, including the Air Canada Foundation as well as our staff, volunteers and guests who came out to support Children Believe, Believe to Achieve Organization, Canadian Health Champions and Your Support Foundation.

From the many highlights of this spectacular event, I know I’ll remember four special moments:

  • meeting many friends of Children Believe for the first time since I joined the organization in 2020
  • hearing iconic bands, such as the Jacksons, talk about the work of Children Believe and that of our three charity partners
  • watching dedicated staff and volunteers create a wonderful event. (Thank you to Aki, Michelle, the event committee and the entire Children Believe team).

A big thank you to our Board of Directors for making this possible. That includes Mary Kosta-Cadas, a Board director and honorary chair for the Toronto gala, who brought Strangers in the Night to Toronto.

Thank you to all of you who never stop believing in children and the difference they can make. They are the hope and the solution to positive change in our world.

Check out video and photo highlights from Strangers in the Night Toronto here.

Please join Children Believe for our next event at the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 16. I’m looking forward to running the race to raise money for Children Believe. Find out how you can run with me.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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