In February 2016, Raymond James was a Gold Sponsor for the 3rd annual A Touch of Gold event by BELIEVE IN THE GOLD, a charitable foundation dedicated to raising awareness about childhood cancer. "Role Mother" Christina (Tina) Chow chaired this year's gala, under the auspices of title sponsor Market Mall. Role Mothers is an initiative from Market Mall designed to celebrate and encourage busy, active moms who give back to their communities. Tina and the founder of Believe in the Gold, Shonalie Stadnyk, were both 2015 Role Mothers.
The A Touch of Gold gala was extra special this year because the documentary "Little Golden Stars: Jacey's dream" produced by Judy Gabriel of Hotbizmedia Inc. was premiered. I
50 childhood cancer survivors were invited to a VIP reception at CF Market Mall for makeovers, photoshoots, food and bling before the gala. Over 400 people attended the gala to celebrate and honour these children at Flames Central. The Golden Stars arrived in limousines and walked the gold carpet with local celebrities.
Nearly $75,000.00 was raised to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by childhood cancer. All the money raised will be donated to the Alberta Children's Hospital to fund ground breaking research by Dr. Mahoney and to help families directly affected by childhood cancer.
Shaw Calgary covered the event, see Christina Chow interviewed here.
Click here for more information about the event from Shaw TV.
Watch the Global TV coverage video and information about the documentary that premiered at the event here.
Watch the BTV interview with Katie Zomar-Davis, a cancer survivor and the Believe in Gold founder, Shonalie Biafore Stadnyk.
Marshall Teske, age 3
Like so many boys his age, Marshall is a Star Wars fan who loves spending time with his family including his dog, Lucy. Unlike most toddlers though, this little "Jedi" was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in February 2014. His feisty spirit prevailed through a long period of chemotherapy. Like a true fighter, Marshall went several rounds with his cancer and is now in remission.
The largest burden for Marshall's family during his treatment were their finances. Marshall's father left his job to stay home with Marshall, and his mother would take days off during his treatment. During those times, the financial hardship caused tremendous emotional strain on the family, but they are sincerely grateful for all the support they have received.
During Marshall's cancer journey, financial constraints kept the family close to home. They learned to enjoy the simple moments like taking Lucy for a walk, special time with their friends and family, or an afternoon spent in the mountains. They make sure to appreciate the little things life has to offer. Support groups have also been a big help, and Marshall's mom, Joleen, connects with other cancer moms for additional support.
Katie Zomar-Davis, Age 16
Katie has a smile that lights up an entire auditorium. In the summer of 2015, Katie was a contestant on Top Model Search Canada where she graced the runway with her poise, talent and natural beauty. Katie was living every teenage girl's dream until her diagnosis on Thanksgiving Day 2015 dramatically changed her life.
Katie has had numerous treatments including chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirates, and a pain control surgical port installed. Katie has struggled with her treatment and their effects especially with the loss of her hair. She also misses hanging out with her friends lamenting about teen issues and scheming about the next big social event.
When you meet Katie you do not see the cancer but instead you are overwhelmed by her compassion and warmth. She has a natural ability to connect with people in a meaningful and caring manner. Katie continues to find support in her family, friends, and nurses. She wants to remind everyone to stay positive. She makes sure to always have a smile on her face and to "look up and not down."