Vol. 4 No. 3 "India is the cradle of the human race... " - Mark Twain
October 2009 "Canada is one of the oldest federations the planet still has up and running." - Roy MacGregor
Gala with a Heart
North Indian Medical & Dental Association of Canada
(NIMDAC) Foundation Fundraising Gala for the Heart &
Stroke Foundation of Canada was held at the Mississauga Convention
Centre on September 27, 2009.
It was not simply an evening of entertainment extravaganza
with distinguished guests in elegant gowns, saris and custom suits
but an assembly of conscientious citizens with a sense of purpose
who chose to cart their generous hearts along with them.
Nearly $100,000 was raised with the involvement of Canada
India Foundation, State Bank of India, Scotiabank, RBC and other
generous contributors from the corporate sector.
A silent auction preceded the entertainment. Award winning journalist and lead news anchor for OMNI News South Asian Edition, Angie Seth was the emcee for the evening.
Asha Seth, the Founding President of NIMDAC Foundation introduced
the keynote speaker, David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart &
Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
While the purpose of the NIMDAC Foundation is to give back
to charities that have a focus in the medical, dental and health
Heart & Stroke Foundation is a leader in eliminating heart
disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement
of research and its application and promoting healthy living.
Sculthorpe came on stage, pockets already full of raffle tickets
and recounted the considerable time he had spent in the corporate
sector where only financial gains mattered.
He spoke about the horse and buggy era of cardiology that
existed not so long ago, pointed out the reality of millions of
baby boomers on their way to retirement, mentioned the number one
killer of men and women over fifty five years of age, observed the
alarming rise of childhood obesity in the past two decades or so
and wondered when the fast food eateries would begin to lower
trans fat from their menus. At the helm of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario,
Mr. Sculthorpe has chanced upon a new scorecard to measure
success: taking stock
of the number of lives saved.
Shah’s soulful rendition of “O Canada” was followed by the
Indian national anthem by Raina Sen.
Dr. Asha Seth applauded the audience for their grit as she
knew how some had arrived in the country without many resources
and subsequently made great contributions to society.
She emphasized that it is not how one gave but how much
one put into giving, so that the heart could
continue to live longer.
Rio Samba Divas popularly known as R.S. Divas lightened the
mood in flaming red costumes.
They regaled audiences with the legendary Diamonds are a
Girl’s Best Friends among other catchy numbers.
Arun Seth’s wit was evident as he introduced Senator Con Di
Nino, who in turn, presented a glorious tribute to Dr. Asha Seth
by pointing out that she exemplified what people needed to do to
make the world better.
auction followed. Ivan
D’Lima conducted with panache and exquisite carpets to
breathtaking works of art disappeared from the stage in no time.
Soon after, ballerinas of A2D2 mounted the stage and dazzled the audiences with their aerial dances.
Milan Gupta, a
staff cardiologist at the William Osler Health Centre in Brampton,
Ontario, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at McMaster
University in Hamilton, Ontario spoke
next. He mentioned
how susceptible South Asians were to develop heart disease and how
it is largely preventable. Although
genetics can hand us a loaded gun, our lifestyle and environment
can prevent us from pulling the trigger.
Dr. Gupta concluded his talk with a warning that must be
heeded by one and all, “no more walking the dog while you are
With too many things jostling for prominence on our agenda books, we often tend to neglect our most valuable possession: our health. It is agreeable to be lucky but at some point we have to get smart. So when we slack, the sterling efforts of the heroes of organizations like the NIMDAC Foundation and the Heart & Stroke Foundation converge hearts. And the steep incline of our long journey looks like a walk in the park.