Forest of Hope

One Enchanted Evening

L to R: Stacey Harris, Lisa King, Maggie Parsons, Debbie King.
Photo: Stacey Harris
Pretty Prosecco Lady – YES PLEASE!
Top L: Kimberly & Maggie (Colleen’s niece) Top R: Paying tribute to Colleen Kohse on the big screen. Colleen was the longest living heart/double lung transplant recipient in Canada. In fact it was pointed out to me that she narrowly missed making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest survivor. Nonetheless she was a trailblazer and tireless volunteer in support to patients and families living with CF.  Bottom middle : Larry Kohse (Colleen’s brother) with Debbie King. Bottom L + R:  a pretty forest nymph and greeter with photos and names of young people living with CF.  Photos: Stacey Harris.

It was a bittersweet event at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront Hotel last Saturday for the annual 65 Roses Gala to benefit cystic fibrosis (CF) because of the absence of my BFF Colleen Kohse.  As The Globe & Mail wrote for some, Colleen’s very existence was hope itself. 

CBC TV and radio journalist Gloria Macarenko was the host of this annual fundraiser along with Jeremie Saunders of the Sickboy podcast. Jeremie if you don’t already know, lives with CF.

Gloria mentioned something eerie but special to me at the start of the evening.  She said last April she opened up her phone and the first thing that popped up on her screen without her searching for it, was a photo of her and Colleen from last year’s gala.  Then very shortly after that, a phone call explaining that Colleen had passed away that day.  It does make one wonder.

The evening began with a delicious signature lavender-infused gin + rosemary cocktail, prosecco and full bar.  In otherwords; no lack of alcohol.

Beautiful songstress Amanda Wood started off the evening with a gorgeous rendition of “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman along with help (not that she needed it) from a choir.

We ate a delicious multi course dinner with wine pairings and were able to peruse the silent auction items online as well as outside the ballroom.  Our photographer Charles doubled as the auctioneer for live auction items and did a fantastic job – multi-talented is he.  Entertainment followed which had pretty much everyone on the dance floor for late night dancing.

The 18th annual 65 Roses gala was proudly presented by B2Gold Corp. The evening was of course dedicated to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, Canada’s most common inherited fatal disease.

Since its founding in 2001, the 65 Roses Gala has raised more than $4 million for CF research and patient advocacy.

We hope to continue to do more so that CF can finally stand for “Cure Found.”

 

To find out more and/or make a donation please visit:

https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/

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