Peel Children’s Centre Celebrates the Shining Stars of Its Caring Community with an Evening of Hope Gala and Auction

For immediate release

On Saturday, November 4, Peel Children’s Centre (PCC) welcomed 180 guests to an Evening of Hope: Shining Star, a black tie gala fundraiser that raised more than $65,360 in support of PCC’s high quality, free and confidential mental health services for children, youth and families who live in the Region of Peel. The event was held at the Mississauga Grand Banquet & Event Centre and celebrated the many individuals and organizations whose work with PCC collectively supports children and youth who struggle with social, emotional and/or behavioural challenges.

Upon arrival, guests were treated to the full celebrity experience. After being greeted at the door by PCC CEO Humphrey Mitchell and PCC Board President Rudy Riske, each guest received a glass of champagne, courtesy of King Masonry Yard, and a beautiful handmade star-shaped chocolate, courtesy of PLASP Child Care Services & Andrea’s True Confections. A cello duo played throughout the cocktail hour.

The evening commenced with a warm welcome from Humphrey Mitchell and special guest MC Jahmeelah “Jam” Gamble. Speaking from her experience as a Development Service Worker and educator with the Peel District School Board, Jam Gamble expressed sincere gratitude to everyone in attendance for their dedication to PCC, having seen firsthand the positive impact of PCC’s services in the lives of her students, colleagues and friends.

Mississauga Poet Laureate and youth advocate Wali (Flo) Shah shared his journey to overcoming mental health challenges through a spoken word performance that chronicled his involvement with street gangs and multiple run-ins with the law. Shah concluded his presentation by gratefully acknowledging the many people who have played a role in guiding him from the streets to success. Shah reminded guests that “It takes a village to raise a child,” and that he would not be where he is today – a university student with a promising artistic career ahead of him – without those “shining stars” who recognized his potential and fostered his creativity. Counted among Shah’s stars is PCC’s sister agency, Nexus Youth Services, which offered Shah his earliest opportunities to perform his poetry for his peers.

Other highlights from the evening’s program included a special address from Bell Community Affairs Regional Director, Lena Demarco, who reaffirmed Presenting Sponsor Bell Canada’s commitment to mental health and a stigma-free Canada; live and silent auctions; and a “wine pull” that offered guests the opportunity to take home a bottle of fine wine valued at more than $200. Guests were also invited to sponsor a PCC child by purchasing a stuffed toy, sold by Matching Sponsor Scotiabank’s employee volunteers. Canadian singer-songwriter Laura Tremblay and her band the Picture Frames serenaded guests throughout the evening with classic songs that harkened back to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

PCC extends its heartfelt thanks to the sponsors, volunteers and guests who helped make its Evening of Hope a success. With your support, we will continue to pursue our Vision of A Caring Community Working Together for Children and Youth.

PCC is a fully accredited, not-for-profit children’s mental health agency. Since 1985, PCC has provided free and confidential mental health services to over 4,000 children, youth and their families annually. In 2014, PCC was named Lead Agency for the Region of Peel as part of Moving on Mental Health, the Provincial Government’s plan to transform child and youth mental health services in Ontario. To learn more about PCC, visit our website, To learn more about next year’s Evening of Hope, visit

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Media Enquiries:
Alexandra Macgregor-Amde, Communications Specialist
905-795-3500 ext. 2297

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