St. Clair College welcomed the community to join our students and staff for our 28th Annual Gourmet Food and Wine Gala this past Friday night, September 23rd.
The evening raised $1.1 million for the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation to purchase new state-of-the-art equipment for the new acute hospital. The funds were generated by the gala's sponsorships, ticket sales, donations and pledges to the foundation. The night's largest contribution of $500,000 was provided by the St Clair College's Alumni Association.
The tradition continued of great food, great wine, and great entertainment. This fine dining experience showcased the talents and abilities of our students. The moment guests entered the Alumni Skyline room at our St. Clair College Centre for the Arts they were greeted and cared for by our students throughout this memorable night.
The evening's menu featured premiere local wines and a gourmet five-course meal prepared by the College's amazing chefs and our Culinary Management students. The five entertainment performances throughout the night, between courses, was provided by our students from the programs of Music Theatre Performance, a walking fashion by our Fashion Design students and The S'Aints featuring Jody Raffoul, Kelly Howell, Kelly "Mr. Chill" Hoppe and Jeff Burrows. The other students who were a part of the evening's preparations and execution came from our Hospitality, Hotel and Management program alongside the students and staff of our St. Clair College Centre for the Arts.
This year, the evening was co-hosted by College President France alongside of Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter, Windsor Police Services Chief Jason Bellaire, and Windsor Fire and Rescue Service Chief Stephen Laforet. The evening's celebration was focused on demonstrating our community's gratitude for their organization's service to our community over the past couple of years during the pandemic. Each organization had there own meal course and tribute during the evening.
President France shared with the guests attending on Friday night:
"Tonight's tribute, however, doesn't just involve the links between the College and these services. No, above and beyond that, we wish - not as educators, but as citizens - to recognize all first-responders for their selfless service, their bravery, and their caring attitude, as they carry out the most challenging duties imaginable on a day-in/day-out basis. You probably don't hear expressions of our gratitude as often as you should, but please know that the community is thankful beyond measure for your dedication as you serve and protect us. You are, truly, the heroes in our midst.
The second purpose of this evening's event is to fundraise for equipment for the new acute care hospital. This project is the beneficiary of this gala's proceeds. There's a College connection to that too.
The facilities of a new-and-improved local health-care system mean bigger-and-better opportunities for our graduates. Our alumni from Nursing and Practical Nursing, Cardiovascular Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Personal Support Worker, Paramedicine, Medical Laboratory Technology and Science, Dental Assisting and Hygiene, Office Administration for Health Services, Developmental Services Worker, Occupational and Physio Therapy Assistant, Diagnostic Medical and Cardiac Sonography, Biomedical Engineering Technology, Gerontology, Pharmacy Technician, and Medical Esthetics already make up a huge percentage of the local workforce in the health-care sector ... and we expect that those employment opportunities will be enhanced when the new hospital is up and running within the next decade.
"There was a level of excitement at this event for the new Windsor-Essex acute care hospital that exceeded anything to date," says Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj. "This level of energy, plus the fact $1.1-million was raised, truly signals the community's commitment to this project."
The six months of planning, preparation and presentation of this gala evening loudly demonstrated to all that our St. Clair College students, faculty, staff, and our community partners truly "Rise Above the Ordinary!"