Once again, the annual Hope & Cope (H&C) event- held August 21 – was fabulous! Sold out early, Soirée Fantastique 2012 honoured Hope & Cope founder and chair Sheila Kussner, retiring after 31 years at the helm. In fact, it was a Sheila Kussner night. She received standing ovations: twice. Once when she arrived, and again after her speech. Elegant in a pale lime couture top and pearls, Sheila attended with her husband Marvyn, and daughters Janice Kussner, and Joanne with husband John Leopold. The chic affair attracted almost 500 people, including Drs. Jimmie and James Holland who flew in from the world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
The program book conveyed congratulations to Sheila from David Johnston, governor general of Canada; Jean Charest, premier of Quebec, and McGill University’s vice principal Health affairs and dean of Medicine, David Eidelman and principal and vice-chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum.
Legendary entertainer Neil Sedaka entertained the crowd with ‘golden oldies’ comedian Elon Gold had everyone in stitches, and Paul Chacra’s ‘‘1945’’ group performed sensational songs. Noted during the cocktail party were the Jewish General Hospital’s president Rick Dubrovsky (attending with his wife Elaine) and executive director Dr. Hartley Stern. Hope & Cope’s president Nancy Wiseman and executive director Suzanne O’Brien addressed the audience, expressing their admiration of Sheila’s philanthropic vision.
Event chair Joey Adler thanked Patron co-chairs Alta Levenson, Sylvia Vogel and Nancy Wiseman; Book Committee chairs Miriam Klein, Barbara Knobovitch, and Elaine Leiter; and also praised the work of Joan Ungar, Elaine Dubrovsky, Lisa Wolk, Melanie Frank, and Hena Kon.
Noted amidst the eleganzia were Emmelle and Alvin Segal, Ronnie Gandell and Leo Kolber, Bunny Berke and Larry Lusko,
Douglas and Joanne Cohen,(fabulous in fuchsia and pearls),Carrie Garbarino, Lenore Harris, Carrie Garabino, Lenore Harris (in sky blue), Thérèse Brownstein (in sequined sparkling stilettos – ”comfy!” ), Rosemary Niro (in black and white Prada polka dots), Heather Adleson,
Anne and Derek Drummond (in his eponymous bow tie), Nick and Dale Tedeschi, Sylvia and Lou Vogel, Linda Smith (in short, black Theia Couture), Odette and Joey Basmaji, Bernice and Morty Brownstein,
and Aldo and Dianne Bibeau Bensadoun, who sponsored the delicious dinner. Joseph Ribkoff, Barbara and Donald Seal sponsored the wines. The Air Canada door prize was sponsored by Valerie and Mike Rosenbloom.
Other fashionistas included Julia Reitman (splendid in satin) and hubby Stephen; Penny Rudnikoff (pretty in a print frock) and Jeremy Reitman, Charles Bronfman and his new wife Rita Mayo, (in a classic sleeveless LBD),
Rosalind and Morris Goodman, Barbara and Donald Seal, Marlene and Joel King, Diane and Sal Guerrera, and Lillian Vineberg, Hope and Cope’s new director. Cars were whisked away with ease by Bob Perras’ valet parking team.The glamorous eve raised $1,551,360. Proceeds support H&C’s services at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) and the JGH Hope & Cope Wellness / Centre Lou’s House.