As the week winds down, I’m taking a moment to reflect on what just happened: Fashion Heals celebrated its fifth edition!

About 5+ years ago, Nat Korol and I had the idea to find a fun, interesting way to make a difference, and we decided to focus our efforts on SickKids. Many people I know have used SickKids’ services, and the impact the hospital has had on their lives cannot be measured. Having attended many fundraisers, Nat and I wanted to be different. We wanted to keep all eyes on the kids and make sure it was their night. With that spark, Fashion Heals for SickKids was born.

Fashion Heals for SickKids is an event that showcases and celebrates the stories of patients, parents and staff at SickKids while raising funds for the Fashion Heals Innovation Grant. We fund out-of-the-box research projects that otherwise may not get funded. And because big problems require bold solutions, we have committed to raising $1 million before 2024 as part of the SickKids VS campaign.

On October 2nd, 2019, the fifth edition of Fashion Heals for SickKids was held at the beautiful Atrium by Ricarda’s Toronto. The show kicked off with Craig Smart serenading the audience of 400+ with his hit song Beautiful. This was followed up by our featured SickKids ambassador Stephanie, who shared the inspirational story of her journey and what SickKids means to her.

Throughout the night, our MCs from The Social, Melissa Grelo and Jess Allen, delighted us with their quick wit and warmth. Guests were also treated to a surprise appearance on the runway by Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids. Karl Wolfe closed the show and brought everyone to their feet with a medley of some of his greatest hits.

Organizing this event is both challenging and rewarding. Sometimes we feel like we’re organizing a wedding with 20 brides, but at the end of it we all keep our eyes on the prize. Every year, the committee has grown stronger and wiser, building on the success of previous editions. Some committee members have had to move on to other projects; some may think we are a bunch of crazies and run for shelter. 🙂 I think my beautiful committee members will agree that it takes major courage, determination and commitment to organize this event, but every bit of effort is worthwhile to see the smiles of the kids and the joy of their family members when the kids walk down the runway.

Sharon Taylor, Jessica Watson, Melanie Minor: you made this happen. Thank you for believing in this. We all have families, jobs and other responsibilities, but we mean business. We juggle. We jump in for other members when it gets tough. We are in it together for the long run.

The heartfelt messages we get after the event from the model squad families are unbelievable. I don’t want to share them without their consent, but if any of you #FHmodelsquads parents or attendees read this, please comment below. What has Fashion Heals meant to your family?

Of course, a huge thank you goes out to all of our sponsors, the executive committee members who spent countless hours planning to ensure the event was a success and all of our volunteers who pitched in where needed. More big thank yous go out to Ricarda’s Toronto, which provided a beautiful venue to showcase the event, to Karl Wolfe and Craig Smart for their memorable performances, and to Melissa Grelo and Jess Allen, our lovely hosts from The Social. And of course a massive thank you to the FH squad, who won our hearts and reminded us why supporting SickKids is so very important.

To date, almost $500,000 have been raised, and this year’s goal is $250,000.

Thank you to everyone who attended! We look forward to raising the bar next year and having another successful event. Believe it or not, we are already planning.

With love and gratitude,

Elke

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