About Last Night with Fred Lee: Photos from Pride Cocktail Kickoff and Long Table Dinner

A rooftop social and a farm-to-table dinner reach new fundraising heights.

Schoolyard Harvest Long Table Dinner

Fresh Roots Society successfully staged their second Schoolyard Harvest Dinner on July 5. Mother Nature co-operated this year, allowing the non-profit to set up the long table next to their educational farm, located on the grounds of David Thompson Secondary School. The market garden is one of five that Fresh Roots manages on school property in Vancouver, Delta and Coquitlam. About 120 guests took in the sold-out farm-to-table alfresco dinner while learning of the society’s efforts to grow community through good food. Founded by Ilana Labow, Gray Oron and Marc Schutzbank, the event gives students hands-on experience while they learn how their food arrives on their table, how to tend to and cultivate the farm, and how to cook and sell the fruits of their labour.

Fresh Roots alumni and high school students Ben Torry and Amanda Luu proudly display the efforts of their farm labour. Fresh Roots’ Rosalind Sadowski and Marc Schutzbank set their alfresco long table next to the educational farm at their school. Program founder Ilana Labow and program coordinator Winnie Kwan welcomed guests to the multi-course, family-style dinner incorporating ingredients sourced from the schoolyard farms. Farm manager Christine Weston and Fresh Roots co-founder Gray Oron tend to four school gardens, providing students with experiential learning about how their food arrives on their table. 

Pride Cocktail Kickoff

Young professionals Kevin Mazzone, Ryan McKinley and Gary Serra hosted their annual Pride Cocktail Kickoff party on July 18, a fundraising fixture on the Pride social circuit. Spectacular views, fine food and drink and a wonderful cause as always had hopeful attendees clamouring for tickets to the sold-out rooftop social. Held 25 floors above the city atop a downtown business tower, the party featured a pretty crowd of rainbow revellers gathering to celebrate diversity and inclusion and to raise money for the Dr. Peter Centre, a facility in the city’s West End providing innovative health care to those living with HIV and coexisting illnesses. The tipple fest’s seventh instalment would raise a record-setting $70,000.

Shirley Young, matriarch of the Dr. Peter Centre, and board chair Joy Jennissen thanked supporters for raising funds to care for those living with HIV and coexisting illnesses. A capacity crowd enjoyed breathtaking views of the city, mountains and water. Dr. Peter Centre’s philanthropy officer Brittany Grant enlisted a shirtless Michael Lausen to sell raffle tickets at the community fundraiser. Gary Serra, Ryan McKinley and Kevin Mazzone created the Pride Cocktail Kickoff party to encourage the next generation of leaders to pay it forward.