By all measures, the inaugural Compassionate Friends fundraiser was a success.
The gala event at Wings Vernon featured talks by TEDx speaker Reen Rose and Dr. Stan Eaman with the keynote presentation by inspirational speaker Mike Shaw.
All proceeds from the event will help fund The Compassionate Friends’ annual retreat at Whatshan Lake. The retreat is about living with the loss of a loved one.
Whether your family has had a child die at any age, from any cause, or you are trying to help those who have gone through this life-altering experience, The Compassionate Friends exists to provide friendship, understanding and hope to those going through the natural grieving process.
Eaman highlighted that suffering and pain in life goes hand in hand-in-with pleasure.
"All too often, what may seem like a pleasurable experience and what may initially seem like happiness, when pursued, changes at a certain point into suffering and leads to frustration and so on. This is just part of life,” he said.
One of the key themes that Shaw spoke of echoed the thoughts of Eaman.
"We need to focus not only the gaps caused by suffering, but also the many gifts that exist in our lives,” said Shaw.
The sold-out crowd enjoyed a gala buffet, champagne, and a large list of silent auction items donated by Vernon and surrounding communities.