On the clear and mild afternoon of May 12, 2015, Mantella Corporation took part in a day of fashion and fundraising by becoming a platinum sponsor of the inaugural Haute Health event. Not only did the event’s first-ever show treat guests to the Canadian debut of Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou’s fall 2015 collection, but thanks to the generous hearts of all involved, it managed to raise a whopping $400,000 in support of programs dedicated to individuals and families struggling with dementia.
Held at the elegant Arcadian Court, Haute Health was launched by the Bitove Foundation and brought together fashionable philanthropists from across the city to raise funds for initiatives that work toward bettering the lives of those living with and affected by dementia. Proceeds from this year’s event went to the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy and the CAP Innovation Fellowship Program at the University Health Network, two of the country’s leading organizations in the field.
“There are about half a million people in Canada that suffer from the debilitating effects of dementia, but it’s also a weight that must be borne by their family and friends,” says Robert Mantella, president and CEO of Mantella Corporation. “Organizations such as the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy are there to offer the support and services that help both individuals and their families through the hardship. We’re proud to support such a cause.”
Co-host of Breakfast Television Dina Pugliese picked up the mic and emceed the inaugural event, welcoming to the stage speakers such as chair of Haute Health and executive director of the Bitove Foundation Vonna Bitove, philanthropist Suzanne Rogers and Dr. Joy Richards, vice-president of Health Professionals and chief nurse executive of the UHN.
The cause is particularly close to the heart of Bitove, as her mother Dotsa, suffers from dementia. It was in Dotsa’s honour that the family, in 2013, founded the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, the first day program in the country focused on providing wellness, care and hope to individuals and families living with various levels of dementia.
After guests sipped crisp Argentinean wines and savoured the delicious Cornish hen “cobbs” and decadent pink grapefruit soaked vanilla sponge by Oliver & Bonacini, they were treated to the main course: an exclusive fashion show by Mary Katrantzou. The award-winning designer paraded the unmistakable looks of her Fall 2015 collection, which featured a range of elegant, regal patterns and fearless colours.
As things wound down, it was announced that an impressive $200,000 was raised from the event. But the biggest surprise of the day came with a late announcement: An anonymous donor made a generous pledge to match that figure, bringing the total funds raised from Haute Health to an astounding $400,000.
“The extraordinary amount raised by this event is a testament to the compassion and effort put forth by Vonna Bitove and her team at the Bitove Foundation,” Mantella explains. “We look forward to being part of future Haute Health events and helping to better the lives of those most in need.”