Epoch Times article about the 10th Anniversary Ball Pologne
REPORTED: April 21th, 2010

By Madalina Hubert, Epoch Times Staff
- as copied from article at Epoch Times: www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/33906/
Guests greet Hon. Lincoln Alexander, former lieutenant governor of Ontario, at Ball Pologne on Saturday. (Madalina Hubert/The Epoch Times)
Kerry Stratton, music director of the Toronto Philarmonia, and veteran presenter/producer Ann Summers Dossena. (Madalina Hubert/The Epoch Times)
Greeters in Polish national costumes welcomed guests to the ball celebrating the Polish Orphans Charity's 10th anniversary on Saturday night. (Madalina Hubert/The Epoch Times)
TORONTO - It was a bittersweet celebration for Toronto’s Polish community on Saturday night at a charity ball attended by prominent Polish Canadians and members of the diplomatic community.

Held at Toronto’s prestigious Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel, the Polish Orphans Charity celebrated its 10th anniversary by donating scholarships to deserving orphans in Poland and surrounding countries.

An extra $20,000 was donated for children who lost their parents in the recent plane crash that killed 96 people, including Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria.

Under the patronage of former lieutenant governor of Ontario Hon. Lincoln Alexander, the charity was founded in 2000 by Toronto-based dental surgeon Dr. Richarda Russ to raise money to build playgrounds for children in Polish orphanages.

Fifty-three playgrounds have been built to date, and the charity has expanded its reach to other countries including Afghanistan, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine as well as a First Nations community in Canada.

“Canada is such a multicultural country, so we help children not only in Poland but all over the world,” explained Dr. Russ.

Dr. Russ said the key to the charity’s success is both its transparency and the fact that it is operated strictly by volunteers. For example, moneys collected go directly into building the playgrounds rather than to the orphanages.

Mr. Alexander expressed his support for the event he said was dear to his heart not only because it helps children, but also because he holds great regard for Polish Canadians.

"The Polish people have done a lot for Canada. When anybody does anything for Canada, I love them because this is the land of my birth," he said.

Mr. Alexander holds a special place in Canadian history as the first black man to become a member of the Canadian Parliament, to serve as a cabinet minister, and as the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. During his mandate as governor from 1985 to 1991, he particularly focused on youth and education.

Although he has attended the balls since the beginning, it was especially important for him to attend Saturday’s event in light of the tragic plane crash.

“He would not have missed tonight. It was very, very important for him to be here tonight of all nights,” said Marni Beal, Mr. Alexander’s partner.

“This is an opportunity for people in the Polish community, particularly in the Toronto community, to come together and to mourn and to also celebrate being Polish, their Polish history, and the good times and the bad times that have gone in the past,” Ms. Beal said.

Former Toronto City Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski was one of the masters of ceremonies at the ball. The programme featured the Grand Salon Orchestra under the director of Kerry Stratton, the music director of the Toronto Philarmonic Orchestra. A silent auction, and of course dancing and music were also part of the evening.

The Epoch Times was a sponsor of the Polish Orphans Charity's 10th anniversary Ball Pologne.

Source Link for Article: www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/33906/

back to News