TORONTO, ON – Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation yesterday (Monday) kicked off the 30th annual Dragon Ball, one of Toronto’s premier gala events and the largest fundraising gala celebrating Chinese New Year in Canada. More than 300 guests attended the Media Launch at Aga Khan Museum.
As the first Islamic Art Museum in North America, Aga Khan Museum acts as a place of pluralism and tolerance, sharing a common mission with Yee Hong – serving a community that spans diverse cultures and ethnicities. To support the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Ball, the museum opened exclusively for the Launch event. Guests got a sneak preview of Dragon Ball 2019 with wonderful demonstrations of scheduled performances and delicious samples of the foods to be served at the Gala. After the reception, the guests also enjoyed a free tour of the museum.
Yee Hong will be celebrating its 30th anniversary Dragon Ball on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at Beanfield Centre (105 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto). This signature gala of Yee Hong is expected to be attended by over 1,200 guests, including political, business and community leaders. The funds raised help support the culturally appropriate services provided by Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care to seniors of various ethnic backgrounds in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Dr Joseph Wong, Yee Hong Founder and Foundation Chair, said, “Yee Hong relies on donors, sponsors, staff and volunteers to improve the lives of seniors. 2019 will be a significant year for Yee Hong – celebrating the 30th Dragon Ball, the development of the first residential hospice in Scarborough, and launching the capital campaign to build two more new long term care centres by 2022. However, we can’t do it alone. We look forward to your ongoing support for years to come.”
David Maung, the co-chair of Dragon Ball 2019, said, “On behalf of the Dragon Ball Organizing Committee, I would like to thank all sponsors and donors. It’s a privilege to have a total of 29 organizations and 15 media partners who are sponsoring this year’s Dragon Ball. Many of you have been supporting Yee Hong and Dragon Ball since the start. Your generosity has helped Yee Hong become one of the largest non-profit providers of senior care in Canada.”
He added, “Please also accept my heartfelt appreciation to our new supporters; your recognition and involvement serves as a motivation for Yee Hong to achieve much more.”
Sue Tang, the other co-chair of Dragon Ball 2019, said, “This special milestone Dragon Ball promises to not only live up to its high standard, it has in plan some pleasant surprises for a most memorable event. I look forward to the continued success of Dragon Ball.”
Stephen Siu, President of Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, added that in the past 29 years, the average income of this one-night gala is $1 million every year. He then described this year’s gala highlights. “It will be another beautiful event. Guests will be immersed in an elegant atmosphere filled with extraordinary entertainment and delectable foods.”
In the gala’s opening performance, a team of high performance martial arts athletes will perform a LED Dragon Dance together with 30 flag wavers, followed by a Chinese folk dance, entitled “Joyful Petals”, to welcome the lunar New Year.
To support the Dragon Ball, the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office has arranged a rope skipping demonstration by Hong Kong’s national team SLASH. The team just won the 2018 World Rope Skipping Championships. Other highlights of the night’s entertainment include a performance from a trio of young opera stars from the Canadian Opera Company’s prestigious Ensemble Studio; a showcase of the Spanish flamenco dance style produced by Kulkat and Dance DNA, featuring a 40-feet long dress; and a performance of the fabulous “The Mask” dance by three Latin duos.
Dragon Ball is famous for its sumptuous cuisines. Apart from the four-course dinner, guests will be greeted with a wide array of food and drinks provided by 10 catering vendors at the pre-dinner reception, including a sake tasting bar by Metropolitan Wine & Sake, Taiwanese appetizers from Green Grotto, Japanese street food from Gushi, popular cheesecakes from Hcafe, handmade Hong Kong desserts from Hui Lau Shan, Chinese dim sum from Sky Dragon, signature food from Kobe Teppanyaki and BBQ, Yu Seafood, Yu Steam Pot and more.
Moreover, guests will not complete their gourmet culinary experience until the post-dinner buffet. Chatime, Marathon Donuts & Café, and Seven Cake Boutique will offer their specialty desserts and drinks.
This year, the live and silent auctions will feature 200 exceptional items. Hong Kong actress Rosamund Kwan again donated a luxury handbag for live auction. Other unique items include Royal de Versailles’s Diamond Necklace valued at $24,500, the Ultimate Ermenegildo Zegna Experience donated by Harry Rosen, an exclusive deluxe tour package to Kenya and Tanzania, and a limited edition 2019 Fine Silver Coin.
The Yee Hong Foundation president also introduced the annual “Dragon Raffle” which was launched last month. He thanked Audi Uptown for donating a new $41,000 Audi A3 sedan as the grand prize. The second prize is a trip for two to Las Vegas donated by Tour East Holidays. Raffle tickets are on sale now for $20 each.
In addition to Prosperity Sponsor Bank of Montreal, Dragon Raffle Sponsor Audi Uptown, Imperial Sponsor Manulife, and Pearl Sponsor Floors@Work, other major sponsors include MediSystem, Tridel, TD, Aga Khan Museum, Shangri-La Hotel (Toronto), Delta Airlines, Tour East Holidays, and Hanson Canada. Media partners include OMNI, 680 NEWS, Classical 96.3 FM, and Sing Tao Media, etc.