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Town Talk: Crystal Ball raises $4 million for pediatric mental health





SOS Children’s Village B.C. executive director Douglas Dunn and gala chair Nesrine Jabbour looked forward to a 4.9-hectare Mission site providing up to 30 new houses for foster children and youths to occupy.


Malcolm Parry / PNG

CRYSTAL CLEAR: Chairing the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Crystal Ball for the second time, interior designer Jennifer Johnston saw it raise approximately $4 million. That is a substantial increase, if less precisely, over last year’s $2,815,129. The Beedie Group-sponsored 35th-annual event’s theme was unchanged, though. Funds raised will support B.C.’s “84,000 children and youth experiencing mental health issues,” of whom, “70 per cent aren’t getting the care they need,” Johnston said.

Raising four megabucks is now now more or less expected by big-time galas. Still, this Zen-themed event’s attendees witnessed something less achievable. As waidoko drummer Nori Akagi generated rolling thunder, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos played the four-finger-hole shakuhachi bamboo flute with fluency, tonal frequency and chromatic range that might mentally challenge others striving to do so.


B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Lisa Hudson and Teri Nicholas congratulated Jennifer Johnston, right, for chairing the $4-million Crystal Ball.

Malcolm Parry /

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Wadaiko drummer Nori Akagi accompanied Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos playing the near-impossible four-finger-hole shakuhachi flute at the Crystal Ball.

Malcolm Parry /

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JUSTICE SERVED: At its recent gala The Justice Institute of B.C. Foundation honoured Marvin Storrow with the Anthony P. Pantages QC Award. It recognized the litigator and former gala chair having “made a significant contribution in the field of justice.” The award also symbolically reconnected Storrow to a fellow “east-end yo-yo champion when we were kids.” That was former Supreme Court of Canada justice and past honoree Frank Iacobucci.

Longtime B.C. Sports Hall of Fame trustee Storrow attended the gala following the two or three sets of tennis he plays up to five times weekly.  As combative athletically as in the courtroom, he once reported his nose broken four times by sports encounters and twice by “differences of opinion.” Representing JIBC’s 30,000-plus student enrolment, graduates-turned-lifesavers Franjo Gasparovic and Megan Rook received the Heroes & Rescue award. Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia were cited for community leadership, and the late Douglas Eastwood and Heather Lyle for lifetime achievement.


Justice Institute of B.C. graduates Franjo Gasparovic and Megan Rooke bracketed Marvin Storrow when they all received awards at an annual celebration. For Malcolm Parry’s Town Talk column on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. [PNG Merlin Archive]

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RING TIME: As for broken noses, the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese and North Burnaby Boxing Club’s 10-bout Night of Fights helped fund those organization’s scholarship and boxing programs. It also benefited the East End Boys Club and Camp Miriam. Italian Cultural Centre catering director Fabio Rasotto all but knocked out 600 attendees with pork spareribs, roast beef, chicken, salmon, pesto pasta, five salads, cold cuts, cheese and Italian pastries. The Angelo Branca Sportsman of the Year award went to local boxer Tommy Boyce, who won 175 of 185 amateur and 17 of 18 pro fights. An earlier recipient, Olympian Manny Sobral, founded and heads the Burnaby club. Calling under-141-pound light welterweight Freya Orr’s split-decision win over Aanika Sehgal, “a barn burner and fight of the night,” Sobral said the latter “feels better about her body image and more confident” after shedding 60 pounds at Surrey’s Savard Boxing Gym.


North Burnaby Boxing Club’s Olympian founder Manny Sobal greeted now-late heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali characteristically in 2009.

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The Confratellanza Italo-Canadese’s John Teti feted youth supporter Jim Crescenzo as ring announcer at the Italian Cultural Centre Night of Fights.

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PUSH TO SHOE: The 15th-anniversary PuSh International Performing Arts Festival got off on the right foot recently. On the left one, too. That’s because board presidents Jessica Bouchard and Mira Oreck fronted a kickoff event for the 15th-annual running at Gastown’s Fluevog shoe store. The two described the Jan. 17-Feb. 3 festival’s 26 staged works as “visionary, genre-bending, multi-disciplined, startling and original.” Somewhat like designer John Fluevog’s shoes, that is. Interim executive director Roxanne Duncan and interim artistic director Joyce Rosario filled in for now-retired and much lauded PuSh founder Norman Armour. They and attendees also acquired shoes, Duncan’s being appropriately theatrical silver glitter “Munster” platforms at a price of $399.


PuSh Festival interim artistic and executive directors Joyce Rosario and Roxanne Duncan fronted a pre-launch reception in the Fluevog shoe store.

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HOTFOOT: Costlier footwear was offered at Aaron Van Pykstra’s bazaar-style charity event in his Autoform dealership’s showroom. Along with artworks, cigars, handbags, watches and suchlike Aleix Dai showed rare sneakers from his Richmond-based Stay Fresh operation. Priced at $3,300, Dai’s red-white-and-black “Off-White” Air Jordans complemented a 1964 Chevrolet Impala V8 convertible that cost US$3,196 (CAD$3,436) new in 1964. According to Van Pykstra, $54,995 would put your clodhoppers on its pedals today.


Aleix Dai showed rare $3,300 sneakers to colour-match a Chevrolet Impala convertible that cost $3,436 in 1964 and $54,995 at Autoform today. For Malcolm Parry’s Town Talk column on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. [PNG Merlin Archive]

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RIDE DALI RIDE: Howe Street passersby might paraphrase the 1953 novelty song by asking: “How much is that Dali in the window?” They’d be referring to the sculptures, lithographs and other works by late Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali in Susanna Strem’s Challi-Rosso gallery. In fact, a self-portrait in the window recently was by local big-canvas artist Pamela Masik, whose other paintings inside “interpreted classics of the master: Dali.”  Somewhat surreally, two topless women pressed their pigment-coated upper bodies against canvases that, on a smaller scale, echoed Masik’s performance-art creations.


Pictured with one of her large paintings in the Challi-Rosso gallery window, Pamela Masik welcomed guests to her Masik Meets Dali exhibition. For Malcolm Parry’s Town Talk column on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. [PNG Merlin Archive]

Malcolm Parry /

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FOSTERING GROWTH: SOS Children’s Village B.C. should soon receive a 4.9-hectare site worth $6 million in Mission’s Silverdale area. With the Vancouver Native Housing Society, it plans to house foster children in some 30 dwellings there by 2021. So said executive director Douglas Dunn at a gala that reportedly raised $68,000 with more pending. It was chaired again by financial planner Nesrine Jabbour whose second child is due in February. Thirty-nine youngsters presently occupy the 34-year-old SOS chapter’s 12-house, five-transition-suite Surrey facility, Dunn said. The expansion should please delegates at the organization’s international conference here in May.


SOS Children’s Village B.C. executive director Douglas Dunn and gala chair Nesrine Jabbour looked forward to a 4.9-hectare Mission site providing up to 30 new houses for foster children and youths to occupy.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG


DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Trackside bettors might discount the pleas of jockeys whose horses ran second and third past the post.

[email protected], 604-929-8456

 


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