Gala at Shangri-La benefits Variety Children's Charity

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What does it mean to be a Miss World Canada delegate? For Ashleen Rosanna Chand, Simran Kapoor and Kamantha Naidoo it is an honour and a title they have been using to influence positive change in the community – like the recent charity gala at the Shangri-La.

On May 1, Miss World Canada in partnership with Variety Children’s Charity hosted A Red Tie Charity Gala ‘A Gift…A Dream…A Life’ at the Shangri-La to raise funds to help children with special needs. Proceeds from tickets to ‘A Gift..A Dream..A Life’ and monies raised from activities throughout the night went straight to Variety. There was an array of exciting items from sponsor businesses that were included in the auction, as well as door prize raffles, pop up sales and more.

“We also had an elaborate fashion show segment, live entertainment by some of Vancouver’s most talented and an opportunity to meet and get to know local Miss World Canada delegates,” says Naidoo. “This event provided our community and local businesses an opportunity to showcase themselves in connection with Miss World Canada and Variety on a memorable night of fundraising.”

While Naidoo prefers not to disclose the exact amount that was raised, she does say that the evening was “beautiful and very successful.”

The gala benefits Variety the Children's Charity (image: submitted)

The gala benefits Variety the Children’s Charity (image: submitted)

Children with special needs face many challenges each day, these challenges can be in the form of developmental, intellectual or moderate to severe medical complications, Naidoo says. These challenges are some of the most complicated for children living in a demanding world.

“As young woman we can only imagine how challenging the lives of these kids are, and can say we have each faced challenges before that were hard to overcome.”

Miss World Canada delegates (image: submitted)

Miss World Canada delegates (image: submitted)

For Chand, she watched her dad go through a quadruple bypass at a young age.

“I stayed strong for him during that time but as a child it was one the hardest things to do,” she says. “My dad is my rock and he has inspired me to always be kind and stay humble no matter what I face in life.”

For Kapoor, migrating from India was one of the biggest challenges she faced during her youth.

“I faced sadness, culture shock and shaping my life from scratch,” she says. “I have grown so much as a person and have overcome my obstacles by recognizing my dreams and becoming the youngest visual effects coordinator at the age of 23 in Canada. Nothing is impossible.”

Naidoo recalls sadness and grieving the loss of relatives as a child.

“Most of them had passed away due to lifestyle related illnesses,” she says. “Feelings of helplessness towards helping the people I love was my obstacle in life, but now I fight for our society to wake up and make changes.”

Variety has been helping families, organizations and communities in B.C. since 1965. Variety makes a difference for these families by providing children with special needs: life-saving medication, equipment, specialized therapies, educational programs and much more.

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Nicolle Hodges Journalist/Reporter for VancityBuzz, Editor of @Valley_Buzz, Freelance Journalist Black Press and CTV Vancouver Promotions Host. Follow my journey on Instagram: @nicolledoubleL
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