BY EMILY SINGH
Through courage and hope all things are possible. That is just one of the many reasons and driving forces behind The Olive Branch of Hope Cancer Support Services. Their We Believe Gala is just one of many initiatives the organization puts on to raise funds to fuel the amazing work they do in the cancer community.
On Saturday inside Paradise Banquet & Convention Centre in Vaughan they held their We Believe Gala. The atmosphere was nothing short of sophisticated and elegant as guests filled the hall for this black tie affair. Victor Shim was second to none with his beautiful voice and amazing musical talents.
No celebration is ever complete without great food. Dinner was a three course masterpiece that began with a fresh salad. Following salad was a pasta dish served in warm sauce before the main course. Guests had a choice of tender cuts of roast beef or juicy seasoned chicken breast. Accompanying the meat was a side of traditional West Indian peas and rice with steamed vegetables. There was something available for everyone there. Vegetarian attendees enjoyed a quinoa stuffed red bell pepper with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables. Finally, everyone’s favourite part of dinner was served, dessert! A delicious slice of red velvet cake was served with either tea or coffee as people got settled in to watch the live performances which included everything from an interpretive dance to a mime performance!
The Olive Branch of Hope is a very special organization that was built from the ground up in 2001 by two very special women. These two ladies are not only strong leaders in the community they are also survivors. Leila Springer and Winsome Johnson are both breast cancer survivors and community advocates for combating cancer. The aim of The Olive Branch of Hope is to provide support largely to the African Caribbean community who is battling cancer. Through educating these women and their families they make the coping and fighting process that much easier. In addition they also provide the necessary emotional support to ensure that cancer is not s disease that controls their lives. They aim to inspire and empower the Caribbean community and the community as a whole.
The host for the evening was none other than award winning playwright and filmmaker, Cheryl Nembhard. Her larger than life personality and warm spirit was perfect for the tone of the evening. The gala was a chance to truly celebrate just how far The Olive Branch of Hope has come and celebrate the women in our community who continue to stay strong through this battle.
For more information on The Olive Branch of Hope and how to get involved please visit their website at www.theolivebranch.ca.