It was anything but an ordinary Saturday night.
The mission was simple - to raise over $100,000 for Answering TTP (Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) Foundation. The ammunition was plentiful. Poker, blackjack, and roulette tables were supplemented by and a host of exciting silent auction items including theatre tickets, pet-sitting services, and oh, yes - trips to Portugal, Las Vegas, and Casino Rama! However, there was a snag. The rainclouds overhead collected and threatened to spill down onto the front and back yards of the Kodatsky home, where Sydney & Alec Kodatsky have hosted the event for the past three years.
But perseverance and well-placed tents prevailed! For the first time, the Chance & Change Game Night boasted a Master of Ceremonies, Elaine Lui, who runs her incredibly popular website laineygossip.com and, of course, is a reporter on CTV's etalk. Better known as Lainey, she won the crowd over with her banter, humour, impersonations of a lounge singer, and sincere commitment to raising awareness of rare diseases.
The night began, and bidding and gambling were well underway. Lainey put her money where her mouth was, offering to donate hundreds of dollars - if anyone could beat her at Texas Hold 'Em. Brave partygoers took her up on it (Lainey's a well-known gambling aficionado) while the rest of the group perused the bid sheets, strategizing and waiting to land the perfect jewellery, set of DVDs or basket of cookies.
As the night grew to a close, the guests debated whether they'd preferred the mini grilled-cheeses or lamb chops that had passed their way, and prepared for their final bids -- and to see who would win the raffle draw for the ultimate prizes - including a Land Rover weekend and a Las Vegas vacation. When the tickets had been pulled and the bids had been tallied, Chair Tammy Robertson announced the great news - we did it! Over $100,000 raised for TTP in just a few hours! The group celebrated, Lainey happily donated $500 to the total (but didn't want to admit she'd actually lost the game - it's a matter of pride!) and guests grooved to Way2Social as the night began to wrap up.
Rain? Doesn't bother us. Huge donation goal? No sweat. Fights over the last grilled cheese? (I can't swear to it, but I bet it happened.) Plans for next year's Chance & Change night are already underway, and we can only go up from here.
Written by Duana Taha.