Canadian comedian, author, actress and mental health advocate, Jessica Holmes, will take the stage at the CIBC Celebration of Hope hosted by the Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) Foundation. Now, in its 29th year, the luncheon will attract nearly 1,000 community members to the Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites on Nov. 11 to celebrate, educate and bring awareness about cancer and the people it affects.
Holmes will bring comedic entertainment to the event with an interactive mix of stand-up comedy, music and hysterical impressions. She has opened for Hollywood greats such Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey and is beloved for her role on Royal Canadian Air Farce.
During the posh afternoon soiree, guests will have the opportunity to browse and shop through a variety of on-site boutiques and bid on auction prizes. Canadian radio personality, Erin Davis, will be flying back from Victoria, BC to host the event for the twenty-fifth time.
“After three decades of sharing radio mornings in the GTA, I’ve moved west but will always hold a special place in my heart for York Region and, especially, Markham,” Davis said. “Part of what’s incredible about this community is the way people come together for a greater cause, again and again. It truly feels like family to me and I’ll always come home to help out when I’m invited. I can’t wait to kick up our heels, do some shopping, get inspired and make a difference. How much better does it get than that?”
The afternoon’s theme will spark excitement for the upcoming holiday season and reveal why even Santa loves pink.
The annual event has raised more than $2.1 million over the past ten years to support cancer care close to home at MSH. The hospital’s oncology program – which now includes the breast health centre, chemotherapy clinic, symptom management clinic, colon health services, clinical trials and radiation consultative services – was created in response to demand from area residents who wanted cancer treatment within their own community. As the region continues to grow, so too, does the need for cancer treatment and support. MSH has been experiencing a 12 per cent annual increase in new oncology consults within recent years, currently treating upwards of 30 chemo patients daily. Most days all 14 chemo treatment chairs are full and the clinics are operating at capacity.
In 2017, an average of 72 Canadian women were diagnosed with breast cancer every day. The luncheon will honour the ninth annual Hope Awards recipients, recognizing those who inspire others through their courageous public battles with cancer and genuine dedication to the cause.
Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online at celebrationofhope.info or by calling 905-472-7373 ext. 6606.
Photo: Dr. Pallister receives her Celebration of Hope Award from Allan Bell, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Canadian radio icon Erin Davis.