Sons of Italy Gala - 2018

Order Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge held its 32nd Annual Gala Dinner on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the RBC Convention Centre.

Presented by RBC, this acclaimed event not only demonstrated the philanthropic spirit of Sons of Italy, but also the caring and giving that Winnipeggers, their businesses and leaders are known for. 

Attendees enjoyed a welcoming reception, and outstanding five course dinner, fine wines, engaging (and short) presentations, an amazing keynote address and wonderful music that had the dance floor full.  


I want to:

SOI Gala 2018 was presented by:

Honourable Mentions

As usual, Father Sam Argenziano, our emcee extraordinaire, kept the introductions short and the joke long -- always a bit of a shock for first-timers!  

One of highlights of the evening, was the greetings from the Mayor of Winnipeg.  While saying all of the usual things that are said in the greetings, Mayor Brian Bowman had called up Gala co-chair Joe Leuzzi for a simultaneous translation into the english version of what Italians would hear.  The crowd went crazy!

We also hosted a President's Reception on the Friday night for our major sponsors.  Check out the photos -- if you are not a sponsor, perhaps you will join us next year!

Want to relive the 2018 gala?  Check out our photo gallery

Giving to the Community: $90,000

Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation - Wellness Institute was thrilled to be the charity of choice for the Sons of Italy 2018 Gala Dinner.  At the end of the evening, the Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation was presented with a cheque for $90,000!

Seven Oaks General Hospital has always gone beyond expectations by focusing on the prevention and management of chronic disease through their unique medically integrated model of health and wellness. Today, Seven Oaks General Hospital (SOGH) is regarded as a leader throughout Canada and internationally in responding to chronic disease – heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lung and kidney disease that is responsible for a majority of hospital stays disability and death in Canada.

Dr. Kevin Saunders gave a short speech on behalf of the hospital, discussing some of the world class work that is being done in "Winnipeg's North End."

In 1996 SOGH opened the Wellness Institute which focuses on preventing illness by supporting active, healthy aging, including programs for patients who have already had a heart attack or pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, arthritis and cancer.

Building on expertise SOGH recently established the Chronic Disease Innovation Centre (CDIC).  Funds donated by the Sons of Italy are allocated specifically to support research in chronic disease that directly supports the work of the Wellness Institute - to make an even larger impact on our community and in Manitoba. It would also allow SOGH to implement more programs to prevent and manage chronic disease based on the latest research.

CIBPA Professional of the Year: Rayleen V. De Luca

We were also pleased to present the 2018 Canadian Italian Business Professionals Association (CIBPA) award for Professional of the Year to Rayleen V. De Luca, C. Psych., C.M., O.M.  Dr. De Luca is Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba.

Rayleen was gracious in accepting her award, and gave a passionate speech about her humble start raising a family and only later in life going to school and earning her Phd.

The CIBPA award is presented annually (see past winners) to a local professional of Italian descent who has excelled in their profession.  

Vince Bova Award: Angelo Costantini

The highest award given annually to a Sons of Italy member is the Vince Bova Award.  This prestigious award is for the member who works diligently behind the scenes.  The award winner is not notified in advance so it is a total surprise each year.  This year the award was presented to Mr. Angelo Costantini, who received a well-deserved standing ovation from the 1,100 guests. 

A Chance to Win $10,000 Cash

This year, our 32nd year, we gave away cash!  Yes, the first prize on our raffle was $10,000 of cold hard cash.  Second prize was a $5,000 cash prize.

In two gestures of absolute generosity, both winners of the cash contributed their prize to the Seven Oaks Hospital Foundation!  Wow!

Thanks to our Sponsors!

The 32nd Annual Sons of Italy Gala was again  presented by our title sponsor RBC.  Kim Ulmer and her team at RBC have been tremendous supporters of our Gala for a long time.  As Title Sponsor, they have for many years shown their commitment to Sons of Italy, our Gala and to the wonderful charities we have supported.

We also with to thank the generous participation of many organizations and individuals who partner with us to make this event a great one, for everyone in the room and then continuing throughout the year through our support of this year's amazing charity. 

Please check out our full list of sponsors from this year's Gala, and support them too, as they have supported us. 

Gala in the Media

The social page in the Winnipeg Free Press included some images from our gala:

From the Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation 2018 report:


F I R S T   C L A S S  R E C E P T I O N

The pre-gala reception began with white-glove service of Prosecco.

E N T E R T A I N I N G   M.C.

With the grace of God but the vocabulary of another, our masterful emcee, Father Sam Argenziano, keep the pace fast and humorous.

E X Q U I S I T E   F O O D

Great food is always a hallmark of a Sons of Italy event.

E S P R E S S O   B A R

The amazing Espresso and Pastry Bar was buzzing after dinner

D R E A M   P R I Z E S

Our raffle featured a chance to win money: $10,000 cash and $5,000 cash!  We had a short live auction with some great prizes.

D A N C I N G   X   2

We had two opportunities to dance.  In the hall, was a DJ spinning tunes with a younger vibe, and in the reception area, the Dirty Catfish Brass Band kept the beat strong.

B I G   D O N A T I O N

We presented $90,000 to the Seven Oaks Hospital Foundation!

Order Sons and Daughters of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge

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