Excuses to dress up (for a good cause)

Many of us love the opportunity to dress up.  Whether it’s a black tie fete or a costume party (my fave) I have had the pleasure of scoping out Toronto’s top charity events for young professionals, such as your pretty little self.  A couple have passed us by and a few are just around the corner.  So if you back the cause and want to help make a difference, I have shared links where you can either make a donation or buy tickets if the event is upcoming.

My motto is: “When I feel good, you look better.”  There is something to be said for giving ‘just because.’  With no expectations you can feel stronger, all whilst making a difference. Check out these events with some pictures to boot.

1. Fashion Cares

Ainsley Kerr and Jen Kirsch at Fashion Cares 25
Who: At $1000 a ticket this event is targeted to more of an elite crowd.  Expect twenty to sixty somethings, and a Who’s Who of Toronto’s social scene.
What: This event benefits the AIDS Committee of Toronto, the Elton John AIDS foundation and helps raise funds to sustain programs and services for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Where: Held at the Sony Center for the Performing Arts.
Why: Sir Elton John, the piano man himself performed.  The evening’s hosts included the Linda Evangelista and designers Dean & Dan Caten and featured high-profile entertainers (Janelle Monáe, Scissor Sisters, Sky Ferreira, Jully Black, Anjulie, Jarvis Church, Kreesha Turner and more!) and fashion heavyweights who have lined up to support this important initiative. Guests enjoyed performances by award-winning musicians and an exciting new take on the traditional fashion show.
Special thanks to: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly for hosting me at the event.

2. Operanation

Who: Though there isn’t a specific “type” that tends to attend this event, co-chair Amy Burstyn-Fritz says “Operanation draws in everyone from corporate to artistic types–there is so much on offer that it appeals to a wide array of personalities.”
What: Operanation is the Canadian Opera Company’s premier fundraising event. For arts patrons as well as the opera-curious, Operanation presents a unique experience, equal parts party and performance, with special collaborations between classic and modern music and complementary art forms ranging from visual arts to fashion. Funds raised for Operanation are directed towards the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. For more information on Operanation, please visit operanation.ca.
Where: Four Seasons Centre of the Performing Arts.
Why: This is a great event to go with someone for a date night.  This years theme is ‘Sweet Revenge,’ so it will be a seductively, sexy environment and you can dress in anything from a black tie gown, to something more playful.  You can play into the theme by dressing sultry and dramatic, as an opera would call for.  The event takes over three floors and has everything from fashion installments, performances by Nelly Furtado and other modern musicians to classic opera tunes. There will be a great DJ on first floor and more rock the house, second floor has food offerings, and third floor is more of a lounge, photo booth, a place take a load off, where you will be prepared indulgent cocktails by world class mixologist, and owner of Toronto’s barchef, which will be a presentation in and of itself.
When: Thursday, October 18th, 2012. From 9pm – 1am, followed by an after party.
How: Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge party tickets are available for $150 per person at operanation.ca or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231.
Special thanks to: Knot PR.

3. Artbound

Melissa Grelo and Jen Kirsch at the Artbound pARTy
Who: Toronto’s Movers and shakers who – for one night – kicked off their pumps and powersuits to get decked out in cowboy boots, hats and plaid, paying homage to Footloose, which was the evenings theme.
What: For those of you who missed Artbounds 3rd annual pARTy, you may or may not have missed one of the top fundraising party’s of the year.  The event, which raised $235,000 for Free the Children, was held on Thursday, September 27th at Maison.
Where: Maison.
Why: Artbound is a nonprofit volunteer initiative that harnesses the power of the arts in support of Free The Children. Since traveling to Kenya, Africa in 2010 to help build a fully functioning arts centre for The Kisaruni School for girls, the Artbound team has worked tirelessly raising funds to help continue the legacy. This industrious group of young Toronto-based professionals has not only provided two additional classrooms in Kenya, but have their sights – and hearts – set on building a new Adopt a Village programme in Rajasthan, India for 2013.
Donate: For those of you who were unable to attend the event, you can still get involved and support this great cause.  Individuals can donate money online (through Artbound’s website), at http://artbound.ca/dev.php/get-involved/donate/ (just click on the “Donate Now!” icon to submit a donation amount of your choice).
Special thanks to: Narrative PR.

4. Boobyball

Who:
Picture groups of girls out with their besties, a fun crowd of young philanthropists who are willing to splurge for a guaranteed-fun Friday night on the town.
What: Boobyball was launched in 2002 by a group of dedicated young women in support of their friend Sarah O’Regan who, at just 23 years old, was diagnosed with aggressive, advanced breast cancer. Boobyball is now one of the most coveted and high profile fundraising events for young philanthropists in Toronto. Over the past 10 years Boobyball has raised over a million dollars for Rethink Breast Cancer and other worthy breast cancer organizations. This year, Rethink, along with our incredible committee, aims to raise over $200,000 to support Rethink’s unique mission.
Where: Sound Academy.
Why: This years theme is Camp Booby.  Party-goers are encouraged to bust out halter tops, itty-bitty jean shorts, and to dress Muskoka chic.  The events website boasts “Urban swank meets bug-juice cocktails, flaming bonfires, boondoggle booty, Sadie Hawkins dances, wiener-eating contests, tuck shop surprises, s’mores and more.”
When: Friday, October 12th, 2012. 8pm – lights out!
Donate: If you ‘missed the bus’ on this one, since the event is already sold out, you can still donate, by going to this link.
Special thanks to: Rethink.

5. The Big Give

Who: According to event leader Margot Grant Witz, “It’s an eclectic bunch from the hipsters, media, artists, lawyers, to socialites, photographers and young entrepreneurs.” No matter what clique you’re part of, everything goes at The Big Give “We have the high rollers to the tastemakers and everyone in between,” she adds.
What: The Big Give charity event is to support Look Good Feel Better, which is Canada’s only cancer charity dedicated to empowering women and teenage girls to manage the effects that cancer and its treatment have on their appearance
Where: The Berkeley Church. 7pm.
Why: The event will be hosted by Mike Chalut (from the Mike Chalut show, Proud 103.9FM) and will include live musical entertainment, auction & raffle prizes, and 100% of generated dollars and donation will go back to the cause.
When: November 7th, 2012.
Donate: Unable to make the event?  You can still donate by clicking this link.

Hope to see you at the upcoming events.  Be sure to say hi if you see me!

- Jenny Jen

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