So­cial net­work

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Mis­sion Pos­si­ble is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion and so­cial en­ter­prise lo­cated in Van­cou­ver’s Down­town East­side. Since 1992, Mis­sion Pos­si­ble has sup­ported in­di­vid­u­als chal­lenged by home­less­ness, poverty, ad­dic­tion and other bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment. Through its em­ploy­ment readi­ness pro­gram and so­cial en­ter­prises, the firm is trans­form­ing lives by help­ing peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence a sense of dig­nity and purpose through mean­ing­ful work.

One such per­son was Janet Keit­lah, who came to Mis­sion Pos­si­ble search­ing for em­ploy­ment sup­port. A mem­ber of the Nuu-chah­nulth First Na­tion on Van­cou­ver Is­land, Keit­lah found her­self liv­ing in the city’s poor­est area. She came to the East Hast­ings of­fice feel­ing un­em­ploy­able, too old to re-en­ter the work­force. De­pressed with very lit­tle con­fi­dence, Keit­lah cred­its Mis­sion Pos­si­ble for her turn­around.

With the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s help, she was hired as a dish­washer. That job would turn into a cook­ing po­si­tion pre­par­ing break­fast and lunch for hun­dreds of peo­ple. Af­ter two years, Keit­lah faced a new chal­lenge, a new op­por­tu­nity work­ing with Regional Re­cy­cling.

Ad­mit­ting the first few weeks were in­cred­i­bly hard — she cried many times at night ques­tion­ing whether she could do it — Keit­lah focused on what she learned dur­ing her time at Mis­sion Pos­si­ble and found the courage and con­fi­dence to suc­ceed.

“I am em­ploy­able and that has changed ev­ery­thing for me,” said Keit­lah, speak­ing at Mis­sion Pos­si­ble’s an­nual gala with her proud son and em­ployer in the front row.

Keit­lah along with fel­low alumni Christina Traxler, Loretta Wiel­gosh and Michael Fraser were feted at Mis­sion Pos­si­ble’s an­nual fundraiser and awards cer­e­mony. Re­cip­i­ent of the Mo­men­tum Award for her in­cred­i­ble strength and te­nac­ity to suc­ceed, Keit­lah re­ceived the award from Mis­sion Pos­si­ble CEO Matthew Smed­ley.

Hosted by ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties Nat Hunter and Drew Sav­age, more than 300 guests con­vened for the 10th an­nual din­ner and auc­tion — a mas­quer­ade-themed af­fair — at the Hy­att Re­gency Ho­tel. Together, at­ten­dees and spon­sors helped un­mask $190,000 for Mis­sion Pos­si­ble to con­tinue its im­por­tant work in one of the coun­try’s poor­est and most chal­leng­ing neigh­bour­hoods.

Since 1959 Reach Child & Youth De­vel­op­ment So­ci­ety has been help­ing chil­dren with special needs reach their full po­ten­tial pro­vid­ing pro­grams and ser­vices for the Delta, Sur­rey and Lan­g­ley ar­eas. An­nu­ally the agency serves more than a thou­sand chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

The so­ci­ety was the ben­e­fi­ciary of the sec­ond an­nual Taste of Reach fundraiser hosted at Tasty In­dian Bistro in con­junc­tion with the restau­rant’s Van­cou­ver grand open­ing.

The orig­i­nal Tasty is lo­cated in Delta.

Yours truly em­ceed the de­li­cious event — a fun-filled night in Yale­town that fea­tured the restau­rant’s gourmet In­dian cui­sine paired with craft beer and fine wine and a spir­ited live auc­tion of unique one of a kind ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing a chef ’s ta­ble din­ner hosted by owner In­der

Saini, a loyal Reach So­ci­ety sup­porter, in his newly chris­tened room. More than 150 guests packed the stylish high-end restau­rant for the evening of fine food and fundrais­ing.

Mov­ing sto­ries from fam­i­lies whose chil­dren ben­e­fited from Reach ser­vices and pro­grams spark­plugged the night of char­i­ta­ble giv­ing. They in­cluded Somi Ben­ning, whose young son was sup­ported by Reach.

A new par­ent, one of her twin sons suf­fered com­pli­ca­tions at birth and was be­hind de­vel­op­men­tally, Ben­ning shared with the ca­pac­ity crowd.

Reach ther­a­pists started work­ing with him. For Ben­ning and her hus­band, the sup­port was im­mea­sur­able.

“No one re­ally pre­pares you when things don’t go well with a new birth and you have a child who needs sup­port,” she says. With Reach’s help, her son was go­ing to be OK. “He caught up to his brother with his skills and abil­i­ties and both are happy boys.”

Ap­pre­cia­tive of the sup­port and re­sources her son re­ceived through Reach’s early in­ter­ven­tion pro­gram, Ben­ning is giv­ing back, join­ing the Reach foun­da­tion board.

Be­fore desert was served over $90,000 was raised, more than dou­bling last year’s in­au­gu­ral haul.

Among the no­ta­bles lend­ing their sup­port : Delta mayor Ge­orge Harvie, Delta coun­cil­lors Dy­lan Kruger and Alisha Gui­chon , MLAs Ravi Kahlon and Ian Pa­ton,

Ad­van­tage Lithium’s David Si­doo, Al­lWest In­sur­ance’s Paul Zalesky, BM Group of Com­pa­nies Mi­lan Mann, Bin­ning En­ter­prises Niv Ben­ning and the Di­lawri Group’s Ajay

Di­lawri — the night’s pre­sent­ing spon­sor.

Gary Le­seur and Pam Vi­dalin were among 300 mas­quer­aders who filled the Hy­att Re­gency Ball­room for the Mis­sion Pos­si­ble fundraiser.

Town Hall Brands’ Leeann Froese and An­drew von Rosen’s trea­sure chest of fine Amarone della Valpo­li­cella Clas­sico wine do­nated to the live auc­tion was a ma­jor hit with par­ty­go­ers.

Mis­sion Pos­si­ble CEO Matthew Smed­ley and his wife Kadee were all smiles af­ter $190,000 was raised for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ef­forts to help Down­town East­side res­i­dents chal­lenged by poverty and home­less­ness.

Ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties Nat Hunter and Drew Sav­age steered the 10th an­nual Mis­sion Pos­si­ble Gala at the Hy­att Re­gency Ho­tel.

On hand to see Janet Keit­lah feted for her courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion to over­come bar­ri­ers and find suc­cess were her son Jor­dan Guy and her em­ploy­ers Brook Lotzkar and Jason Smith of Regional Re­cy­cling.

Oak­wyn re­al­tor Saman­tha Kwong and her hus­band David Khuu were among the 300 strong who came out and helped raise a record haul for Mis­sion Pos­si­ble.

Reach Child and Youth De­vel­op­ment So­ci­ety was the ben­e­fi­ciary of restau­rant owner In­der Saini’s grand open­ing party, spon­sored by Al­lwest In­sur­ance’s Paul Zalesky.

Reach board mem­bers De­nis Horgan, Carmel Tang and Bob Mann en­joyed a night of fine din­ing and fundrais­ing at Tasty In­dian Bistro in Yale­town.

Pi­o­neer Pal­let & Lum­ber prin­ci­pal Dave Up­pal and his wife Jas flank Delta chi­ro­prac­tor Dr. Sereena Up­pal. The three were among a ca­pac­ity crowd that came together to help open Tasty In­dian Bistro of­fi­cially and raise funds for Reach Child and Youth De­vel­op­ment So­ci­ety.

Reach Child and Youth De­vel­op­ment So­ci­ety’s Ali­son Martin, Re­nie D’Aquila and Kristin Bibbs thank at­ten­dees for their gen­er­ous out­pour­ing of sup­port: $90,000 was raised to help chil­dren with special needs in the Delta, Sur­rey and Lan­g­ley ar­eas reach their fullest po­ten­tial.

Among the many bene­fac­tors sup­port­ing Reach were Har­man Ba­sutta of Tasty In­dian Bistro, Mi­lan Mann from BM Group of Com­pa­nies and Niv Bin­ning of Bin­ning En­ter­prises Ltd.

Somi Ben­ning’s son was sup­ported by Reach. She now pays it for­ward and is a mem­ber of the Reach board.

Delta city coun­cil­lor Dy­lan Kruger and mayor Ge­orge Harvie were among city of­fi­cials at the fundraiser.

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