Toasting Pride, polo, health care, history, horses

Dr. Peter Centre executive director Maxine Davis and a supporting cast of shirtless raffle sellers successfully helped raise nearly $50,000 at a Pride Cocktail Party in The Loden Hotel for the West End facility dedicated to caring for HIV–positive British Columbians.
FRED LEE / Postmedia News

CARING PRIDE PARTY

Breathtaking views, fine wines, tasty morsels, a compassionate cause and charming company — all the elements of a winning party recently staged at The Loden Hotel.

It was the Pride Cocktail Party, an annual coming together of socially minded business and community leaders to raise money for the Dr. Peter Centre.

After successfully orchestrating Vanhattan’s first CANFAR Gala benefiting AIDS research, young philanthropists Kevin Mazzone and Ryan McKinley, joined by realtor Gary Serra, reprised their chair roles to front the yearly fundraiser, a leading date on the Pride social calendar.

Held at the boutique hotel’s penthouse suite, attendees partied with a purpose, enjoying the views and food and drink while supporting innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre located in Vancouver’s West End.

Tempting items in a silent auction and raffle orchestrated by a gaggle of shirtless men helped raise even more money for the Centre, dedicated to caring for HIV–positive British Columbians who are at risk of poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction or social isolation. Before sunset McKinley, a mortgage specialist, reported nearly $50,000 was collected.

Executive director Maxine Davis, and Shirley Jepson-Young, Dr. Peter’s mom, were on hand to thank le beau monde that convened to imbibe and celebrate the work of the Dr. Peter Centre.

Among the services the facility provides: a day health program, a 24-hour specialized nursing care residence, and a supportive housing program. Since its inception, the summer soirée with generous support from the Loden Hotel and the Lazy Gourmet has raised more than $175,000 for the registered charity.


Gary Serra, Ryan McKinley and Kevin Mazzone’s Pride Cocktail Party at the Loden Hotel kicked off Vancouver’s Pride festivities. Their penthouse party generated nearly $50,000 for the Dr. Peter Centre.


Communications specialist Caryl Dolinko and Isabelle Swiderski, co-chair of Vancouver’s LOUD Business — part of Vancouver’s LGBTQ business community — enjoyed the food and drink and stunning views at the Pride reception while supporting the Dr. Peter Centre.


David Goudge, proprietor of Sea Star Vineyards, uncorked his award-winning, organically grown Pender Island Wines for all to taste at the Pride Cocktail Party.


Scan Automotive’s James Daniel and his wife Kea attended the $150-a-ticket Pride reception supporting HIV–positive British Columbians — men, women and children — who are at risk of poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction or social isolation.


Party attendees Cameron and Michael Barker Fyfe will front Dr. Peter Centre’s fall food and wine fundraiser PASSIONS on Sept. 27.


Grant Minish, the regional manager for LGBT business development with the TD Bank Group, and Dr. Brian Fitz-Simmons, were among 150 caring business and community leaders who convened for the annual Dr Peter Centre Pride Cocktail benefit.

STYLISH HORSE PLAY

Polo was played in Vancouver as early as 1913 with the establishment of the Vancouver Polo Club. During the 1950s and 1960s matches were held every Sunday afternoon to help raise money for the maintenance of the field.

In 1957, the pitch became part of the Southlands Riding Club. Today, the annual Pacific Polo Cup tourney and fundraiser — played on the same grass — is an opportunity for Vancouverites to be part of the sport’s storied past, style and glamour.

The Southlands Riding Club, a non-profit society that serves roughly 400 riding and non-riding members of all ages and interests, once again played host to the fourth staging of the charity event created to further the interest and profile of the sport and riding club.

Under sunny skies, attendees young and old repurposed their Deighton Cup ensembles from the week before — fascinators, fedoras and their sartorial weekend best — to attend the summer’s most stylish event.

Fronted by tourney chair Benson Hurlbutt and Pacific Polo Cup president Nadia Iadisernia and presented by Nicola Wealth Management, hundreds of the city’s well-to-do, most generous and influential took in the sport of kings while supporting programs that allow children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to experience the joy of riding.

Imbibing in the finest food and endless bubbly — generously supplied by Veuve Clicquot — revellers viewed the contested matches, which concluded with Nicola Wealth Management edging Team Amacon 7-6 in an exciting final.

While few knew the rules of play, it did not matter. Guests — the largest crowd to date — enjoyed the galloping ponies as well as the fashion parade and see-and-be-seen style stakes happening on the sidelines and during the customary halftime divot stomp.

Among those turning heads were the city’s top party makers Joy Jennissen, Stephanie Hungerford and Diana Zoppa, and Deighton Cup merrymakers Kate MacDougall and Dax Droski.

Southlands Riding Club has been providing a home for equestrian sport and recreation since 1943. The club also serves as the home of the Vancouver Pony Club, Pacific Riding for Developmental Abilities and the Vancouver Equine Rescue Society.


Nadia Iadisernia, president of the Pacific Polo Cup, fronted the summer’s most stylish event. Proceeds from the thrilling day of riding — anticipated to corral upward of $25,000 — will benefit the Southlands Riding Club.


In their Chanel best, Shonna Dudar and Cynthia Nickel enjoyed an afternoon of polo matches, and fine food and drink.


Amber Robinson and Kye Melchert were among the stylish people who took in the sport of kings at Southlands.


Heather Brooks, Bronwyn Wilkinson, president of Southlands Riding Club, and Joy Jennissen took to the field for the customary halftime divot stomp.


Southlands Riding Club members Paige and Allie Sullivan and Avril Billingsley thanked attendees for their support of Vancouver’s oldest riding organizations founded in 1943 to provide a home for equestrian sport and recreation.


David Sung, president of Nicola Wealth Management, with his wife Tassan, was thrilled to return as the tournament’s presenting sponsor for a second year.


Vivian Tang, Veuve Cliquot regional marketing manager and brand ambassador, ensured the premium bubbles flowed at the summer soirée. Raising a glass with Tang was Anne Zhong, VP of Development of Vanjed Holdings.


An ambassador for the sport of polo, Paul Sullivan helped steer the Nicola Wealth Management team to a 7-6 win in the finals of the fourth Pacific Polo Cup tourney.


The Deighton Cup’s Kate MacDougall and Dax Droski got to repurpose their ensembles for the polo party at Southlands.


Andrew and Stephanie Hungerford were part of the fashion-forward and influential crowd that enjoyed a day of polo. Stephanie will chair the 2018 Bacchanalia Gala in February benefiting Bard on the Beach.


Jim Murray, managing partner at Brian Jessel BMW, escorted Diana Zoppa to the sport of kings.


Representing the Wentworth Hospitality Group, dapper dudes Tret Jordan, executive chef of Homer Street Café, Roy Comesotti, VP of operations and food, and beverage director J.S. Dupuis put on their sartorial best for the day of fashion and horse play.

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