Canadian Foundation Marks 50th Year of Stem Cell Discovery With Gala at Mercedes-Benz Dealership
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells, the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation hosted the Renew the World gala on Wednesday night. Designed to spread awareness and launch the foundation, the event drew 500 guests, including Canadian scientists, celebrities, and business leaders. “Everything we’ve done tonight is about raising the cause,” said Hala Bissada, president and C.E.O. of Hala Events and Communications, which produced and managed the event for the organization.
Bissada turned the service bay into a reception space, replete with white draping and white lounge furniture. White Mercedes-Benz cars were hoisted onto the car lifts and uplit in purple. “We wanted to create a great space but also keep it what it is—it’s a service bay,” Bissada said. She added that the all-white decor made the space resemble a lab environment that fit with the cause. While the linens and chairs in the dining room set up on the venue's showroom floor matched the all-white decor, moving lights and centrepieces provided pops of colour, reminiscent of the Stem Cell Foundation’s logo. A 100-foot-long screen stretched across the front of the space.
The evening also offered a number of educational elements, including a discovery wall that displayed Canada’s contributions to stem cell research, patient and researcher speakers, and a celebrity and scientist seated at each table.
At the end of the evening, guests received an envelope containing a personalized, non-monetary task. “It’s one action that we want [guests] to take beyond this event,” Bissada said. Actions ranged from tweeting about the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation to signing the Stem Cell Charter. “They received the action envelopes that night and many of them are already fulfilling their actions,” Bissada said.
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