‘We’re stunned’: Soldiers’ Taste of Europe Gala raises $250,000

Soldiers’ 21st Annual Gala – Taste of Europe, presented by Casino Rama Resort, was a resounding success, raising over $250,000 net towards advancing healthcare within the community!

The annual event returned to an in-person format for the first time since 2019 and saw more than 350 members of the community come together in support of Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

The Gala featured a unique European-inspired culinary experience, allowing guests to taste dishes from four countries, including Italy, France, Greece, and Germany.

Following dinner, the Foundation hosted a paddle raise to support the purchase of new bedside monitoring systems for the Hospital. Dalt’s Honda pledged a matching gift of $25,000, inspiring over 40 donors to raise their hands and give over $100,000, far exceeding all expectations.

Special thanks to the following major contributors: Greg and Jennifer Morton and Family, Beneteau Family, EDI Inc., eCapital, CrossFit Orillia, John and Donna of Provincial Excavating Ltd., and The Orsi Group.     

“We’re stunned by the level of generosity and support the community continues to show year after year. It speaks to our donors’ understanding of the importance of investing in healthcare within our community,” said Kaitlyn St. Pierre, Foundation Annual Giving Officer and gala organizer.

“I’m thankful to our gala committee, sponsors, donors and guests who made it possible to pull an evening like this together. Our supporters truly mean the world to us,” continued St. Pierre.

“Seeing so many familiar faces coming together is a special feeling. We’re incredibly fortunate to host events like this again,” said Mark Riczu, President and CEO of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Guests were treated to endless entertainment throughout the evening, including a live painter, roaming stilt walker, an electric violinist and an after-party lasting into the early hours of Sunday morning. But the real surprise was when Doug Gilmour, retired Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player joined the auctioneer on stage and auctioned off 46 signed jerseys within a matter of seconds.

“As exciting as this evening was, the real magic is in the community. Seeing our donors come together again is truly something. Knowing the effects their generosity will have on healthcare in our community is going to stay with me the longest,” said St. Pierre.