More than $400,000 has been raised through the 2016 “Operation Yellow Ribbon”campaign, Hamilton’s biennial fundraiser in support of Canadian soldiers and their families in the greater Hamilton region and across Canada. The funds were raised for the nation-wide programs of Canada Company, which will share proceeds with the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and the Hamilton Community Foundation.
The event has been held biannually since 2010, making this the fourth gala. Canada Company founder and chair Blake Goldring, the chairman and CEO of AGF Management Limited and also the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army, centred out Pioneer Energy president and CEO Tim Hogarth for special mention. Goldring told the crowd that “Op Yellow Ribbon” was Hogarth’s brainchild and is something he continues to lead and support morally and financially. Hogarth is a past Honorary Colonel of The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
The keynote speaker was Brigadier-General Stephen Cadden, the commander of the Canadian Forces’ 4thCanadian Division (the army in Ontario), which includes the Army Reserve units in Hamilton. Noting that soldier’s families will benefit from the event, BGen. Cadden told the 280 guests, “If a bomb exploded across the street, soldiers would charge towards it, not away. What soldiers want to know is that if they’re killed, if they’re injured, that there is an avenue of support for their loved ones.” The $400,000 includes sponsorships from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Pioneer Energy, CGOV Asset Management and 12 additional corporate and private donors.
There was also a silent auction featuring decorated helmets by Hamilton artists Robert Baird, Stacey Camp, Zofia Glab, Tiffany Huta, Richard Kowalchuk, and Deb Mack. Noted Canadian blues artist and Juno award winner Steve Strongman of Hamilton was the highlight performer, along with the Military Band of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, the RHLI 13thBattalion Ceremonial Guard, the Pipes and Drums of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, and Hamilton’s Schiehallion Dancers.