Although I’ve taken part in many fundraising events for SickKids (most notably my favourite annual event, Scrubs in The City!), this year was my first opportunity to attend the Breakfast of Champions in support of SickKids.
Breakfast of Champions is an annual fundraising and networking breakfast event that takes place in downtown Toronto, and provides young professionals with the opportunity to enjoy an intimate breakfast with “champions” from a wide range of fields, including law, medicine, business, sports and entertainment.
To give you an idea of the calibre of the 34 champions in attendance, this year’s roster included Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook and Instagram Canada; Don Green, Co-Founder of Roots Canada; Rosie MacLennan, Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist; Christine Magee, Co-Founder and Chair of Sleep Country Canada; Joe Mimran, Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur; Anthony Rose, Celebrity Chef; and Marie Henein, Senior Partner of Henein Hutchinson LLP.
When registering for the event, attendees are able to select their top choices out of the 34 champions to have breakfast with. Although there are no guarantees, there’s no question that you will end up at a table with an incredibly successful and influential person. My top picks included Joe Mimran, Christine Magee and Anthony Rose, and I was very excited when I learned that I had secured a spot at Christine Magee’s breakfast table.
The morning started bright and early at 7:30am inside the Arcadian Court. The room was filled with round tables and lined with generous donations that were up for auction. Even first thing, there was an excitement and buzz in the room as young professionals filled the room and began to connect with each other.
Once seated, each table was able to take time to get to know the champion hosting the table, and openly ask questions and for advice relating to their careers. I loved getting to discover more about Christine Magee’s career, as well as the questions that came from everyone around our table.
This year’s keynote speaker was Jordan Banks, the Managing Director of Facebook and Instagram Canada, who shared an inspiring speech with one key piece of advice for everyone in the room:
“I am often asked by young professionals to provide career advice, and I think that one of the most important things that young people can do is to get involved in the community by finding a cause that they are passionate about. Not only will they be helping others, but this will also be a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.”
An impressive $200,000 was raised at Breakfast of Champions 2016 (the fifth anniversary of the event) that will go towards the Child-Bright Network at SickKids.
“With the help of our champions and corporate partners, we’ve been able to raise awareness and funds to support various priority areas at SickKids. This event started as an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin and it is so remarkable and humbling to see how much Breakfast of Champions has grown since then.” said, Jonathan Tong, Breakfast of Champions Co-Chair
Often, I think that young people and young professionals don’t believe that they can ‘afford’ to support a charity at this time in their lives or careers. However, what I love about these ticketed fundraising events is that they provide you with the opportunity to get involved in events that can help change the lives of others, and your own, at an affordable price. Many of us will easily spend $100-150 on a night out with friends, please consider putting that money towards the attendance of a fundraiser where you, and your friends, can still have a great time together, while making the world a better place.
For more information on Breakfast of Champions, please click HERE.
Hope to see you there next year!
(all images provided by Sean Deakin)