Date: Thursday, November 15, 2018 Time: 6:00 pm Venue: Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown, Vancouver

The Gala Overview

The 2nd annual SOS Children's Village BC - International Foster Awards Gala recognizes leadership and success in foster care.  

It celebrates inspiring former foster children who have triumphed over adversity.  

It raises money to help current foster children in dire need and fight for a better model of care in BC. 

The gala is a magical and inspiring evening at the spectacular Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, featuring a delicious plated three course dinner and dessert, with fine table wine and more drinks by donation at the bar.

The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel is one of downtown's premier hotels, featuring stylish guest rooms, world-class food, and world-class service.  At the top of the grand staircase is the elegant Pinnacle Ballroom, newly renovated as of April 2018.  Beautiful Coal Harbour is in short walking distance and a there are splendid coastal mountain and city views from inside the hotel.

With 250 guests attending, the evening features live entertainment, exciting live and silent auctions, a trip raffle, a 50/50 draw, and a little surprise from SOS Villages around the world – a perfect way to kick off the holiday season in style, and for a great cause.

The most rewarding part of the evening is that net proceeds go directly to SOS Children's Village BC's programs and homes for local foster children, and for youth who have aged out of care at 19 years old and are struggling with homelessness.


Exciting 2018 Celebrity Keynote Speaker To Be Announced Shortly: Last Year's Speaker

Few people exemplify the qualities of personal excellence, teamwork, community leadership, and overcoming the odds better than CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons.  With boundless energy, Pinball’s talks centre on the potential for each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to.  Unabashedly emotional and impactful, he shows audiences how to put heart into everything they do.

Pinball joined the National Football League in 1987, and the Toronto Argonauts (and the CFL) in 1989.  He was nicknamed “Pinball” because of his running style: his diminutive size and extraordinary balance allowed him to “bounce” between defensive players, drawing comparisons to a pinball machine.  In 1990, he was honoured with the CFL’s “most outstanding player” award, after setting the single-season record for all-purpose yards.  He played his last game as an Argonaut in 2000, before becoming head coach of the team.  He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2016, Pinball was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2007, Pinball stepped down as head coach to become the CEO; in 2009, he was appointed to Vice-Chair of the team (he has since left the position).  That same year, he founded the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation, which is dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth.  Pinball is a member of The Order of Ontario and a Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient.

It is his exceptional character, in addition to his outstanding athletic ability, which has made him the remarkable fan favourite he is throughout Canada.  Michael’s tireless participation in countless charitable causes exemplify the qualities he possesses.  His speeches are at once captivating and empowering, and clearly demonstrate the capabilities of teamwork.

At only 5 feet 6 inches and 170 pounds, he also inspires his audiences by illustrating what is possible and what it means to beat the odds.  Pinball communicates his heartfelt stories with a passionate spirit and his patented, contagious smile.


The Pressing Cause: Save Society & Save A Life

SOS Children’s Village BC is part of SOS Children’s Villages, the largest non-governmental, non-denominational child development organization in the world.  It has existed for over 65 years with a presence in 135 countries and 573 Villages, with a seat at the UN to be the voice for the rights of children everywhere.  SOS Children's Village BC was founded in 1986 as a grassroots response to deficiencies in the provincial foster care system characterized by frequent placement breakdowns, separation of siblings, and moves for children and youth.  Even today, the state of foster care remains a “North American epidemic”.  Over a hundred children in the foster care system die every year in our province.

But there is a better way.

The unique and proven Village model is based on SOS International founder Hermann Gmeiner’s belief that a loving, professional caregiver (with trauma training), a family atmosphere that keeps siblings together, a home, and a community of support create a circle of healing, belonging, and growth for a child in need.

These elements are evident in our Village, located in a picturesque area of Surrey, where the need is most acute.  Since its opening, the only SOS Children’s Village in all of Canada has provided care and support to foster children and their families in your community; helping to build on individual strengths and cultivate social networks to maximize each child’s opportunities for success.  Professional counsellors and support staff are on-site, as the majority of the kids have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 

We help the most vulnerable and least visible children in our society, and we are proud of bringing international best practices for the care of children to British Columbia.  We continue to develop a separate model of care for the troubled provincial child welfare system to emulate, setting the standard for the care of foster children and youth in BC.  Indeed, our Village has a track record of 100% of SOS foster youth graduating high school within two years of expected date, versus only 40% of foster youth graduating in the BC foster care system.

Only 6% of our charity’s funding comes from the government, with the vast majority coming from donors. 

We now have a Village of 12 homes, a 2.5 acre campus with Village Centre and recreation areas, and we recently completed a $450,000 capital campaign to build five transition to adulthood suites for homeless youth aging out of care.  With programs that are trauma-informed, our model is based on lifelong engagement and embracing the cultural heritage of each child.  Our vision is to expand our Village model to every town in British Columbia. 

One hundred per cent of the net proceeds from this event will go directly to our programs.  Your support of the International Foster Awards Gala will help provide crucial programs to vulnerable children and youth in your community and help stop the needless deaths, because at SOS BC, we believe in … A loving home for every child.



The Fundraising Goal We Need Your Help To Reach: $100,000

In the past our galas have been averaging between $50,000 to $75,000 in funds raised, and $100,000 is where we truly need to be in order to ensure our programs and homes for foster children and youth in need can continue, as well as expand.  It is wonderful that we have an SOS Children's Village in Surrey, but our vision is to have Villages across British Columbia, and we need your support in order to make it happen.  The International Foster Awards Gala is a focused fundraising event - it's not just about buying the ticket and bidding on auction items - it's about proudly making that cash donation to help us reach our goal and to change lives!

If you are interested in becoming a $5K Gold or $3K VIP Table Sponsor of the International Foster Awards Gala, which includes a complimentary preferred table with reserved seating, please contact executive director Douglas Dunn at or (604) 574-2964 ext. 102.  There are only four Gold sponsorships available and eight VIP Table sponsorships. 


Purchase Your Early Bird Gala Tickets Online:


$180 EACH ($190 after August 31, 2018)
Includes plated three course dinner and live entertainment



The Donation: Help The Gala Reach Its $100,000 Fundraising Goal!

 $50 – Can support the most pressing needs of the children in our programs.

 $100 – Can provide a 'welcome home' package for a new arrival to the Village (Pajamas, toys, toiletries, other basics to make them feel welcome, and
                       most importantly, a name plate for their room door).

 $250 – Can fund a session of the Village Learning Club - providing socialization and academic support.

 $500 – Can cover the cost of sports equipment and fees for a year for a child in care.

 $1,000 – Can provide therapy for a year to help a young person deal with the trauma they have experienced.

Other: $ 






The Presenting Sponsor


The Gold Sponsors



The Silver Sponsors




The VIP Table Sponsors



The Television Sponsors



The Radio Sponsors



The Venue Sponsor


The Beer Sponsor and Chocolate Sponsor



Swag Bag Sponsors




Live Auction Sponsors



The Details

Dress code: Cocktail Attire



"It was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated group of people. Hosting the SOS Gala was a fun and festive way to support a very worthy cause.  Overall, it was a really moving and exciting event."

- Kaitlyn Herbst, Global BC Anchor


"Telling my story, and honouring my foster family when I received my award, was so much more emotional than I ever expected.  This was a room full of people who really understand and care.  About what I experienced, about what I overcame, and about what every kid in the system goes through.  I can’t say enough good things about SOS Children’s Village BC, and I will continue to support their incredible work."

Tom Watson, 2017 SOS International Foster Award Winner


"The SOS Children’s Village Gala is a great event not to be missed!  The venue was stunning and the food scrumptious.  It’s a fun night of local entertainment and glamour.  Helping raise funding is simple when there are so many great silent and live auction items to choose from and a great cause."

- Amber Belzer, Global BC Traffic Reporter


"I hate galas ... but this one is fun!  I am so glad I am here."

2017 Gala VIP Table Guest







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