In a nod to Andy Warhol and Studio 54, organizers of the ninth annual Boobyball fund-raiser for Rethink Breast Cancer—dubbed “Boobyball 9: Flash"—showcased iconic images from the '70s alongside displays of Brillo boxes and stacks of Campbell's Soup tins at the Kool Haus on Saturday. “Every year we try to come up with a great theme that is a lot of fun and super creative,” said Ainsley Kerr, Rethink's event specialist. “This year we're going with the idea of Studio 54 and the artistic influence. We had five great photographers in the city recreate iconic Studio 54 images [for the event decor] and our auction.”
Kerr and Rethink's event manager, Lindsay Grange, worked with event co-chairs Aliya-Jasmine Sovani (of MTV), Natasha Penzo (of ASC PR), and Jacquelyn West (of Hermann & Audrey) to plan the event. The team called on Jennifer Ferreira of Ferreira Design to handle the decor. Posters with images by photographers Caitlin Cronenberg, Steve Carty, Jalani Morgan, Javier Lovera, and Babar Khan hung throughout the venue and are being sold as part of Boobyball’s online auction, which runs on eBay until November 1. “This crowd loves fashion and art,” Grange said.
A V.I.P. lounge, filled with black and gold furnishings from Contemporary Furniture Rentals, sat in the middle of the room, and a series of activations from sponsors like Mavea and Guess by Marciano lined the walls. “It keeps the party going,” Grange said of the activations. Guests could dress up in Guess by Marciano clothing for a photo shoot, sample various coffee beverages at a Tassimo station, or try a glass of Yellow Tail Bubbles Rosé at the Bubble Bar (where a model posed in a yellow bathtub filled with clear balloons).
When it came to choosing a venue, Grange said the decision came down to capacity. “We have 1,200 guests coming. Trying to find a space in Toronto that holds that many people is a challenge,” she said. The event has been held in raw spaces (with no existing amenities like built-in bars) in the past, and the fact that the Kool Haus is an established venue was appealing, Grange said. “We liked the idea that the space is completely open and you can do a lot with it,” Kerr said.
Servers passed hors d'oeuvres from 10tation Event Catering, which set up two food stations where guests could try mini sirloin burgers served with root chips and noodles stir fried with bok choy, peppers, mushrooms, bean sprouts, snow peas, and fresh ginger. DJ Vaneska spun tunes, and entertainment included performances by Allie Hughes, Forbidden Fruit, and Divine Heritage Artistry.
In an effort to attract a young crowd, organizers priced tickets at $80, with a limited number available for $40 (aimed at guests between the ages of 19 to 25). “We want to gear it toward everyone. We want our ticket price to be accessible,” Kerr said, noting that the event sold out in just over one week. Proceeds from the benefit support Rethink's Booby Innovation Grant (designed to assist young women diagnosed with the disease), as well as the organization's existing programming.