Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Young Professionals Come Out in Style to Support Chai Lifeline at Conspire2Inspire

Over 300 Jewish Torontonians arrived at the first annual fundraising event

By: Jordana Manashirov

Published: June 3rd, 2014 in News » World

Over 300 young professionals across Toronto attended the much anticipated 1st annual fundraising event, Conspire2Inspire, on Thursday May 29th, with proceeds going towards Chai Lifeline Canada, a not for profit organization dedicated in assisting and improving the lives of children suffering with life–threatening illnesses.

The event took place at a trendy Queen Street West venue, The Burroughes. Arriving in style promptly to an open and welcome environment, two main rooms were already quickly filling up, as the DJ played top 40 beats. The rooms both included an open bar, light refreshments and a fun photo booth with instant printing allowing everyone to bring something home.

The attendees also got to enjoy the roof top patio that included a bar and a starry view of the city.

The event was galvanized when an event chair learned that a close friend’s child was suffering from a serious illness, learning that Chai Lifeline was involved to bring support to the family during the difficult times. This led to the creation of a dynamic group of young professionals aiming to bring awareness of Chai Lifeline and what it achieves for the community.

Amongst the young professional involved were lead chair Michael Grossman with co-chairs Rob Altbaum, Tracie Kuchinsky, and Elysha Ames.

As I made my way through the crowds, taking full advantage of the opportunity to meet fellow like-minded professionals of Jewish Toronto, many expressed not only their inspiration but their desire to get involved. Many were already doing what they could to support the non-profit, and spoke of the importance of showing their support. Others were new to Chai Lifeline, and gained not only a knowledge but the need to get engaged. Regardless, the feeling was equally moving.

One individual that I spoke to in particular stood out, commenting that, yes, sparks certainly lit when the event was buzzing on social media but, also that “the reason I am here is because of a video I came across of a mother speaking about losing her son to a terminal disease, and she expressed how grateful she was to Chai Lifeline for their ongoing support and being there in her son’s last days. She will forever be grateful.”

I also had the opportunity of speaking to a committee member of the event, learning of her involvement with Chai Lifeline in the past couple of years. A staunch supporter of creating awareness of this vital organization, she told me “when you learn about Chai Lifeline, it is impossible not to want to get involved.”

Several of the event chairs also conveyed their desire to make a difference. Tracie Kuchinsky, a co-chair of the event, told me that “It’s about the Children” while fellow co-chair Rob Altbaum mentioned, “It is not about only one person, but the community as whole.”

The atmosphere at the event was fun and engaging; later in the night, the attendees were welcome to the roof top where the city view was mesmerizing, with a clear night and a slight breeze to enjoy BBQ kosher hot dogs, before walking away a lavish gift bag.

As the night came to an end it was clear that as future leaders of Jewish Toronto, it is our duty and obligation to bring awareness, make an impact, and empower others along the way. The attendees of Conspire2Inspire, myself include, walked away with a positive note, a greater understanding of the importance of non-profits like Chai Lifeline, and most significantly, a definite plan to inspire.

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