Giving Hearts Gala brings Langley’s South Asian community together: Renewing the spiritual space at Langley Memorial Hospital

ON February 11, guests of the Giving Hearts Gala will gather at Langley’s Coast Hotel and Convention Centre to celebrate philanthropy within the South Asian community while they raise funds to renew the Spiritual Space at Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) — a place where patients, their loved ones and health care workers can find solace in times of crisis.

When a loved one is sick, injured, in surgery or long-term care, family members, friends and caregivers carry a burden of helplessness, loss of control, fear and anxiety. At these times, it’s crucial for one’s mental health to find a quiet haven apart from the hospital’s more clinical setting.

LMH’s Spiritual Space on the hospital’s main level has served visitors and patients well for some 50 years. But it’s worn, out-of-date and showing its age. With a full renovation the space will offer respite in a contemporary, serene environment designed for privacy and healing of the heart, mind and spirit.

The fundraising goal at this year’s gala is both solemn and celebratory,” says Heather Scott, Executive Director of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. “When our family members or friends are in hospital, the worry and uncertainty can become overwhelming. But a renewed Spiritual Space can give us a sanctuary to collect our thoughts, meditate, pray, or merely sit in silence to find the grounding we need.

“At the Foundation, we’re committed to serving LMH patients in a holistic way. With our community partners we fundraise for tangible causes, like capital and equipment projects, but we also place a high value on the mental and spiritual health of LMH patients and their loved ones. Our Giving Hearts Gala community knows how important it is to find strength in a place that inspires spirituality and peace.”

While the Giving Hearts Gala celebrates longtime South Asian community members and their commitment to supporting LMH’s current needs, it’s also a recognition that philanthropy continues to grow when the next generation of families, professionals, individuals and businesspeople are motivated today, to build a thriving, generous community that will flourish in years to come.

“We are proud of the young South Asian businesses and professionals who are getting involved with the Giving Hearts Gala,” says Balraj Mann, gala co-chair with Manjit Gill.

Balraj Mann, a longtime business owner, and Manjit Gill, an award-winning philanthropist and community activist, have led the Giving Hearts Gala committee since they founded the gala more than four years ago.

The event will be launched at 6 p.m. by MC journalist Sonia West, a member of the Giving Hearts Gala committee. Up to 350 gala guests will enjoy a South Asian fusion dinner and an evening of entertainment, including an online raffle, live and silent auctions, performances from the Royal Academy of Punjab’s Bhangra Dance team, an energetic round of Dhol (Indian drumming), and the soothing sounds of master sitarist Anju Bedi.

This year, the gala welcomes guest speaker retired Cpl. Baltej Singh Dhillon, the first Sikh to wear a turban as a part of the official RCMP uniform, after he successfully challenged the official dress code on religious grounds. Thanks to his efforts, all Sikh members of the RCMP take pride in wearing their turban while on duty.

Now a motivational speaker and a Board Director at Coast Mental Health, Dhillon will share how the values and lessons embedded in the heart of Sikhism can help energize and empower the community to participate in community health care giving and philanthropy on a wider scale.

Since 2019, Giving Hearts Gala guests have raised $565,000 for advances that make an impact on the lives of Langley residents every day, including $200,000 to help fund the Martini Family Emergency Centre and MRI Suite; $150,000 for wheelchairs and walkers to aid patient mobility and another $215,000 to fund lifesaving care for vulnerable newborns through a new Giraffe Carestation for Langley’s Maternity unit.

Tickets are on sale now – 70 per cent have already sold.

Visit www.lmhfoundation.com/givinghearts for more details.

Tables of eight for $2,000 and individual tickets for $250 each are available before January 22; after January 22, they’re available for $2,200 and $275 respectively at www.lmhfoundation.com/givinghearts.

A few great sponsorship levels are still available. Contact Sheila.Reimer@lmhfoundation.com

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