Gala for Crohn's and Colitis Canada raises record amount for research into inflammatory bowel disease

Crystal Goomansingh, Global Anchor and Crohn

TORONTO, May 11, 2017 - Benevolence was on show last night at the Gala for Crohn's and Colitis Canada, held in support of the 250,000 Canadians living with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The evening at the Universal EventSpace in Vaughan, Ontario, raised a total of $1.7 million for the charity. One million dollars was raised in just 20 minutes at the "Fund-A-Cure" segment, with the first donation of $100,000 from the Andlauer family immediately matched by a $100,000 gift from the RAP Foundation.

Over 900 donors and guests were in attendance to support everyone impacted by Crohn's or colitis, and enjoy entertainment from eight-time Juno award-winner Jann Arden. The evening also saw Mount Sinai Hospital's Dr. Zane Cohen honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his pioneering work in surgical interventions to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

"The funds raised at our Gala allow us to advance our research projects, provide patient support services, and build awareness campaigns," said Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "On behalf of patients, their families, and the scientific community we support, I want to say thank you to the caring people who supported us. The generosity shown at the Gala will make a significant impact."

The Gala's honorary chairs, the Thompson family, shared with the audience the difficulties of life with Crohn's and colitis, as well as their optimism for the future.

"As a parent, it hurts to see your children in pain," said Michael Thompson, who has three sons living with Crohn's and/or colitis. "We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we witnessed at the Gala. We are hopeful that better days are ahead, and for a future without the suffering of inflammatory bowel disease."

Gala-generated funds fuel research into finding the cures and advancing treatments for Crohn's and colitis, and programs like youth camps, scholarships, education events, and peer-to-peer support for Canadians affected by these diseases.

Crohn's and Colitis Canada Gala ChairsGala Chairs: Tammy Seigel, Ronda Taylor, Mimi Greenspoon

The Thompson Family
The Thompson family: Ann, Stephen, Kathleen, Michael Crispi, Michael, Beverley, Gregory, Michelle, Graham

Dr Zane Cohen
Dr. Zane Cohen delivers acceptance speech

Dr Zane Cohen and Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn's and Colitis Canada
Dr. Zane Cohen, recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award and Mina Mawani, President and CEO Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

The Thompson family telling their story at Crohn's and Colitis Canada's Gala
The Thompson family share their story

Allison Elliott (founder of the RAP foundation) and Kathleen Thompson-Crispi
Allison Elliott (founder of the RAP foundation) and Kathleen Thompson-Crispi

Jann Arden performs at Crohn's and Colitis Canada's 2017 Gala
Jann Arden

About Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Crohn's and Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these diseases. We are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn's and colitis research in the world, investing over $100 million in research to date. We are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn's and colitis (the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease) through research, patient programs, advocacy, and awareness.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a representative of Crohn's and Colitis Canada, please contact:

Nic Canning
Smithcom Ltd., Account Manager

Rasheed Clarke
Crohn's and Colitis Canada, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
416-920-5035 x 215

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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