See How This Fund-Raiser Recreated the 1950s

From mini TV dinners to vintage-style sofas, the hospital gala used budget-conscious tropes to bring the 1950s to life.

By Amanda Scriver October 1, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT

The event took over the Ritz-Carlton Toronto on September 22 and had a throwback vibe that nodded to the 1950s.

Photo: Nick Lee

Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary's "60th Birthday Bash"
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The Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary members hosted a “60th Birthday Bash” fund-raiser September 22 at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto. The event's 1950s theme was apparent in the ballroom, where a pop-up burger and shake shack offered retro-style nibbles and sips.

“As an organization which began in 1953, we felt it was very fitting to create a 1950s theme ... as a way to pay homage to a group of visionary women who began fund-raising for Mount Sinai Hospital,” said Melissa Campisi, development officer of special events at the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation.

Throughout the ballroom, large vinyl clings featured archival photos and newspaper articles about the original auxiliary members. Another showcase was dedicated to 1950s gala fashions worn by prior auxiliary members. The theme carried through to decor and food: As guests made themselves comfortable on vintage-style couches with orange throw pillows, they were treated to miniature versions of the classic TV dinner. The playful dish included roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and carrots. With the on-theme tropes, Campisi said, “We were able to enhance the guest experience while not doubling the spending to exaggerate the theme.”

For the evening's entertainment, crooner Matt Dusk performed with his 18-piece orchestra. Attendees sang and danced along, adding a sense of connection that was a desired side effect. “We wanted people who may have never been connected to the hospital before to leave with a feeling of wanting to contribute to Mount Sinai Hospital,” said Karen Goldlist, president of the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary.

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