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PROACTION’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY GALA
May 7, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
ProAction Cops & Kids 25th Anniversary Gala – A Night to Remember!
May 7, 2016 – Art Gallery of Ontario
Celebrating the life and legacy of our Founding Father
A Tribute to JOHN LOUIS NICHOLAS BITOVE, CM
Scotiabank was proud to support ProAction Cops & Kids as they hosted their 25th Anniversary Gala on Saturday May 7th at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The evening was a monumental success marking a special milestone celebrating 25 years of funding police-led programs for at-risk youth. This sold-out event welcomed 400 guests, many of whom have supported ProAction over the years helping it to grow into four chapters across Ontario.
Guests were greeted by the Toronto Police Mounted Unit and mixed and mingled while enjoying exclusive access to the AGO’s world-class art exhibits. Special guests included Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders, Niagara Region’s Chief of Police Jeff McGuire, retired Toronto Chiefs of Police David Boothby and William Blair, Acting Hamilton Police Chief Ken Weatherill, Honourary Chair Jim Treliving, Sports Broadcaster Gord Stellick, Calgary Flames’ President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke and Canadian comedian icon Eugene Levy who emceed the evening.
Honourary Chair, Jim Treliving, Chairman and Owner, Boston Pizza, Dragon’s Den personality, and retired RCMP officer commended the leadership of the police officers who engage and provide young people with ProAction programs and a safe opportunity to participate in skill-building activities they might not otherwise be able to afford. A tribute to the charity’s founding father John Bitove, Sr. demonstrated how this visionary’s mission of building trust, respect and a mutual understanding between officers and youth is being realized. His message, “Give with your heart, and you shall receive” continues to live on and inspired a standing ovation.
Chief Mark Saunders thanked ProAction’s guests for their support in helping officers connect with young people in need and introduced Quandon Thomas, a participant from the ProAction funded Toronto Recreational Outtripping Outreach Program. Quandon bravely stepped on stage to inform the audience that ‘the struggle is real’. He shared his personal story and how the mentorship he continues to receive from Police Constables Vince & Laura Langdon makes a difference in his life. Chief Saunders congratulated Quandon for his outstanding achievements –graduating high school and working towards a career in security so that he can serve and protect his community like his police mentors.
True to the spirit of a celebration, host Eugene Levy and the cast of The Second City delivered an evening program filled with laughter. The Second City performed a custom show and later joined forces with the ProAction Cops & Kids’ Improv Group for a finale performance that provided these youth with a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform on stage!
ProAction’s 25th Anniversary Gala raised over $300,000 to support police officers as they reach out to youth and establish relationships that help lead these young people towards better life choices. These funds will help ProAction police partners to engage even more youth in healthy, pro-social activities while mentoring these young people to success.
To view photos from the 25th Anniversary Gala, please visit www.facebook.com/copsandkids.ca/photos/?tab=albums
Thank you for your support!