Thousands of guests and stars were full of laughs at the Laughter is the Best Medicine III Gala, held May 13 at the Beanfield Centre, Exhibition Place. Comedic superstar Jim Gaffigan, SNL Alumnus Kevin Nealon and Hollywood star Will Arnett kept the audience entertained for an evening of outstanding comedy and world-class food, all for a great cause . In addition, the affair raised $7.3 million towards the Michael Garron Hospital. Proceeds will support the hospital’s monumental renewal and expansion and ensure the highest quality patient care.
This year, the red carpet was graced with guests in business, sports, politics, fashion and entertainment, including Michael Burns, Gala Co-Chair & CEO, Invictus Games Toronto 2017, Michael Geddes, Gala Co-Chair & President, Lone Eagle Entertainment, Marg Franklin, Gala Co-Chair & President, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Mayor John Tory and Barbara Hackett, Ben and Jessica Mulroney.
Will Arnett, who returns as host for the evening mentions that five years ago was when he was first asked to be a part of the event, he decided he wanted to contribute to the small community when he heard about all the wonderful things they’ve done. Now that the community has grown, it’s become a really exciting event for the actor. “I’m really excited I still get to come back to Canada especially Toronto and Winnipeg where my family is originally from, and to give back. It feels great.” Said Arnett. He also mentions he goes The Xtra Mile in order to keep up with his busy life by getting a lot of sleep.
This event was one of Gaffigan’s first performances since taking time off to be with his family, but he did not fail to deliver. Arnett, Gaffigan and Nealon kept the entire room laughing all night long, while guests enjoyed a three-course meal designed by celebrity chef Susur Lee. During the live auction, Arnett charmed guests into opening their hearts for an exclusive opportunity to join him for dinner, and a week’s stay at a luxury villa in Aix-en-Provence, France.
The event turned out to be a huge success and will continue to put smiles on faces of more than half a million people throughout Toronto and the GTA who reply on Michael Garron Hospital for exceptional patient care.
[Photography and interview by Connor Watt]