Diwali celebration raises $1.8M for UHN

On Saturday, October 5, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation hosted Diwali – A Night to Shine, presented by Scotiabank, in support of research at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI), University Health Network (UHN). Held at the Beanfield Centre, more than $1.8 million was raised for life-saving research initiatives at this highly-anticipated and joyous event. Since its inception in 2011, Diwali – A Night to Shine has become the most well-attended and high-end Diwali celebration in Toronto and raised $8.9 million (gross) for programs at UHN.

L to R: Raj Kothari, Brian and Megan Porter, Shaila Kothari

“We are honoured to return as the presenting sponsor of Diwali – A Night to Shine,” says Brian Porter, President and CEO of Scotiabank, and Chair of UHN’s Board of Trustees. “To all who attended Saturday’s gala, thank you for your generosity. You have played an important role in supporting the world-renowned research taking place at UHN.”

Diwali, the namesake of the event, is the South Asian Festival of Lights that celebrates good health, hope, luck and prosperity. This year’s theme was “India: The Land of Inspiration,” encouraging guests to experience the inspirational influence of India’s rich and diverse culture. Guests were invited on a journey of India through dynamic performances and exquisite cuisine, learning about elements of Indian culture that have inspired societies around the world, including themes of spirituality, non-violent activism, pluralism and celebration.

Additional event sponsors included Rochelle Reichert and Henry Wolfond, Cheryl and Rob McEwen, Air Canada as the official airline and Asian Television Network as the exclusive television sponsor.

“Diwali – A Night to Shine is not only an event I look forward to each year, but an event with far-reaching impact,” says Raj Kothari, Chair of the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of Diwali – A Night to Shine. “It is the most notable Diwali celebration in Toronto, consistently exceeding our expectations. The funds raised will support the important research happening now at [TGHRI], and it would not be possible without the continuing goodwill of so many individuals. I am incredibly grateful for their support and commitment.”

TGHRI is a world-renowned leader in biomedical research and innovation, a reputation sustained by a legacy of world-first discoveries. With close to 400 researchers and more than 1400 publications, their groundbreaking work has led to therapeutic advances in organ transplantation, cardiac pacemakers and novel therapies in endocrine and autoimmune disorders. TGHRI scientists and clinicians work side-by-side, striving for excellence and continuing to make clinical breakthroughs that save lives around the globe.