The 3rd Annual Gala Event was held on April 23, 2009 at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Toronto supporting the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario and BAPS Charities. Several hundred corporate, business and community leaders gathered to tour the Canadian Museum of Cultural Heritage of Indo-Canadians and to hear from special guests and learn more about the charities being supported by the event.
The special guests included the Honorable David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for Ontario; Ms. Preeti Saran - Consul General of India to Toronto; Mr. Rocco Rossi, National director of the Liberal Party & recent CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Honorable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry
Honorable David Caplan, brought greetings from the Premier of Ontario, the Honorable Dalton McGuinty, stating on his behalf, he said, “The people of Ontario are a diverse group, united in a common bond; simply, they are compassionate and caring. This sincere regard for the well being of others is clearly demonstrated this evening as guests gather to lend both moral and financial support to the Heart and Stroke foundation.I want to commend BAPS, the dedicated organizers, and everyone in attendance tonight in coming together to raise funds for and awareness of cardiovascular disease. You are helping to strengthen our community and you are helping to strengthen our province.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rocco Rossi said, “I’m incredibly honored that BAPS has chosen the Heart and Stroke foundation to receive proceeds from this event. Through this program we are saving lives, and in saving lives we’re saving worlds because we save not only the person but their family, their workplace, their community, their province, their country. I’d like to thank you all for this wonderfully generous act.”
Minister Tony Clement addressing the audience said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to be here at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan mandir. I just flew in from Ottawa earlier this evening, and of course I would like to bring my greetings on behalf of the Prime minister, the government of Canada and the Parliament of Canada, and wish you well. This is a great thing that you are doing to help support the Heart and Stroke foundation and to help support BAPS Charities and the museum. I want to thank you all for being part of this endeavor.”
Ms. Preeti Saran, Consul General of India to Toronto, addressing the audience said, “I would like to take this opportunity to particularly felicitate and congratulate BAPS for the excellent work that they have done in supporting health related charities and other social service activities.”
The Gala Evening ended with a colorful and riveting farewell dance performed by members of the BAPS youth group. Many of the guests, who were visiting the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir for the first time, said that they would like to return with their family, friends and colleagues to see the Museum and Mandir.