The rain couldn’t stop Toronto’s finest from gracing the luxurious third floor ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel for the Right to Play Ball on Friday, May 10th. Famed Canadian fashion journalist/photographer/philanthropist Glen Baxter once again hosted the second annual fundraiser for Right to Play – an NGO that uses sport and play to empower children and youth in disadvantaged communities throughout the world.
The evening kicked off with a VIP reception where guests received a gift card from Mastercard, who was the official sponsor of the event. The guestlist included notable names like fashion designer Evan Biddell, fellow designer Lucian Matis, model Stacy McKenzie, rapper Kardinal Offishall (who celebrated his midnight birthday with a cupcake in hand), 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Rosie MacLennan, Miss Universe Canada 2010 Elena Semikina, media personality Glenn Dixon, music video director Director X, Toronto Argonauts defensive back Jonathan Hood, and CEO and President of Right To Play, legendary speed skater Johann Koss, who addressed the crowd with a few inspiring words about the initiative.
These were, of course in addition to the regular fixtures on Toronto’s charity ball scene, who were out in full force and style. You know, the ones whose attendance assured you were at the right party and the ones who likely ended up next door at the exclusive Soho House for a night cap.
Life of the party Stacy McKenzie could be found grooving on the dance floor with a circle of friends or behind the DJ booth with DJ Tony Okungbowa from the Ellen Degeneres Show and Montreal’s DJ Jojo Flores (who as you may recall took home the award for best DJ at the Notable Awards back in December).
Samsung teamed up with Sennheiser headphones to provide special listening/audio stations throughout the venue, which featured Tony and Jojo’s playlists. Smoker or not, most guests ended up lounging on the tented terrace at some point in the evening – prime real estate for people watching, resting precious stiletto-clad feet or mingling with fellow guests.
As expected, the silent auction featured fabulous items like a Hamilton watch ($2,200 value) and a 7-night stay in a 2-bedroom villa at Grand Isle Resort in Exhuma, Bahamas ($7,000 value). We must admit the fact that there wasn’t a theme in terms of wardrobe was a refreshing change from recent charity events. It allowed for more individuality with fashion, yielding a sea of bodies clad in fabulously eye-catching evening dresses (some designed by designers present at the event) and suits. Host Glen Baxter was styled by YP favourite menswear store Gotstyle.
In just one year, the Right to Play Ball has grown from 200 people at Peter Freed’s (Freed Developments) office on the private PH floor of the Thompson Toronto to the 350 fabulous guests that filled the Shangri-La ballroom this year.
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