On May 31, 2019, McMaster Rehabilitation Sciences hosted their 25th Annual Charity Ball. Every year the McMaster Rehabilitation Sciences Charity Ball Committee organizes a dinner and dancing gala. This committee is comprised solely of students within the Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology programs who collaborate to execute all components of this event. This ball is also able to feature a silent auction and raffle thanks to several generous sponsors contacted through outreach to the community. Physiotherapy faculty and students gathered alongside their Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, and Rehabilitation Science faculty and students to support a wonderful cause. This year we were thrilled to have over 240 faculty and students in attendance.
In addition to the main event, the students on the committee work tirelessly throughout the year to maximize impact and host fundraisers every month. This year’s fundraisers included bake sales, a Dine and Donate with Boston Pizza, Beers N Bites with The Phoenix McMaster, a bottle drive, an NHL loser pool, and a collaboration with Paisley Coffeehouse and Eatery. For the first time in the history of the McMaster Rehabilitation Sciences Charity Ball Committee, we launched an online fundraising platform via CrowdRise, and were able to raise lots of awareness for our cause in addition to over $1600 through this medium alone. Additionally, OPA generously donated two prize packs, each with $50 gift cards to the McMaster Rehabilitation Science Charity Ball.
A different local charity delivering rehabilitation services is honoured each year through this event. This year the Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation, a Brantford based charity that supports the Lansdowne Children’s Centre was chosen. The treatment centre is for children and youth with physical, developmental, or communication special needs. Care is provided to more than 2,600 children, youth and their families. While some services are government funded, the Foundation helps to support the critically acclaimed therapeutic programs that are not, allowing for literacy programs, greater leisure opportunities, and increased specialized equipment.
It was a pleasure to be able to host this event during National Physiotherapy Month, to allow for faculty and students to participate in giving back to the community during this time and being able to support the profession. This year’s event was no exception to previous successes, raising a total of $11,300 for the Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation. It is the hope in the future to be able to include more physiotherapists from the community within our efforts in any capacity possible. The goal is that in the years to come, physiotherapy students will continue to collaborate with their inter-professional peers and staff and will keep giving back through the support of different rehabilitation based charities.
In order to maximize the impact and reach of the McMaster Rehabilitation Science Charity Ball Committee in the future, follow the Facebook or Instagram pages (@macrehabsciencescharityball) to stay up-to-date about the future successes, as well as for opportunities to get involved. Your support would be greatly appreciated. Over the past 25 years, the McMaster Rehabilitation Science Charity Ball Committee has been able to raise over a hundred thousand dollars for local charities, and the hope is to be able to continue to maximize this impact.
By Brittany Kafka, MSc Physiotherapy Candidate 2019, Charity Ball Co-President 2018/19