More than $10 million was raised at the Baycrest 100th Anniversary Fundraising Gala on Sunday, October 14. The event capped off an impressive year of special celebrations to mark 100 years of Baycrest.
The money raised will go towards the new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness – a first-of-its-kind in Canada and one of many leading-edge initiatives anticipated at Baycrest over the next 100 years.
Some 1,400 guests dined and danced to the music of legendary, Grammy Award-winning band Earth, Wind & Fire in a 45,000-square-foot tent erected on the Baycrest campus for the event. The entrance was a re-creation of the façade of the original Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home (Baycrest's forerunner), a Victorian house on Cecil Street near Kensington Market in downtown Toronto. Among the handful of speakers who addressed the gala theme "It Starts With You", was actress Sarah Rafferty of the acclaimed TV show Suits, and global ambassador of Baycrest's Brain Project.
WATCH: The Research & Innovation
video presented at the 100th Anniversary Gala here
Event honourees, the Kimel family, were joined by numerous relatives, friends, colleagues and other Baycrest supporters contributing to the new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness and celebrating a century of care and innovation at Baycrest. Co-chairs of the event were: Michael Bregman, Mitch Cohen, Karen Diamond, Ellis Jacob and Ed Sonshine.
"Baycrest's 100th Anniversary was the catalyst for this event, but the visionary leadership and generosity of the Kimel family inspired the extraordinary response in support of the new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness," says Josh Cooper, President and CEO of the Baycrest Foundation. "We are so grateful to everyone for contributing to Baycrest's latest initiative, which is expected to revolutionize the way people age and play a pivotal role in the fight to defeat dementia."
The new Centre will focus on three areas: Community Wellness Programming, Specialized Wellness Clinics, and Integrated Research to Prevent Cognitive Decline. A Clinical Trials Unit will also be developed to provide access to leading-edge drug and non-drug interventions. The goal is to offer Baycrest clients and community members evidence-based, personalized programs to help delay cognitive decline and treat dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.
The inaugural Director of the new Centre is Dr. Howard Chertkow, a world-renowned cognitive neurologist and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. He joined Baycrest in May 2018 and is also the new Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation and a Senior Scientist at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute.
"The new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness will solidify Baycrest's position as a global leader in discovering ways to improve brain health and aging," says Baycrest President and CEO Dr. William Reichman. "Baycrest continues to pioneer best aging care practices and is working to create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment."
Cooper adds: “Our community members have always been the heart and soul of Baycrest, and the gala shone a light on your enormous impact. By supporting this event, the community demonstrated its unwavering commitment to our next 100 years and helped us in advancing our vision of a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. On behalf of everyone who will benefit from your generosity for generations to come, I thank you.”
View the online photobook of the Baycrest 100th Anniversary Gala here
For more information about Baycrest's 100th Anniversary Gala and the new Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness, please visit: www.baycrestfoundation.org/gala