Tonight's Stay at Home Gala will support Rapid Relief Fund

Communities across Canada will join together Saturday night for the Stay at Home Gala, a one-night livestream event in support of communities affected by the COVID-19 virus. The Victoria event benefits the Rapid Relief Fund.

The Stay at Home Gala features athletes, musicians, and celebrities in telethon format raising money for cities at the local level. The two-hour national gala will also feature regional hosts and talent in select markets across the country, and is expected to raise $1 million in contributions.

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The Victoria portion of the program will be hosted by A.J. Cruze and Robin Ferrell of local radio station Ocean 98.5. Author and adventurer Julie Angus, magician Jason Verners and comedian Morgan Cranny will participate from Victoria at various points in the broadcast, which gets underway at 4:30 p.m. Host Erin Cebula, Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, Dragon’s Den star Lane Merrifield and journalist André Picard will appear as part of the national broadcast.

The gala will be streamed to ticketholders through a private web link. Tickets are priced between $25 and $100, with a $1,000 ticket providing access to the live stream, the patron’s name on the Wall of Heroes section of gala website and a thank-you during the live local event.

Victoria’s Stay at Home Gala is presented in Victoria by Island Savings. Tax-deductible donations will be collected by the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, which will direct funds back to the Victoria Foundation through the Rapid Relief Fund. The Victoria Foundation will match all dollars raised from ticket sales and donations up to a total of $20,000.

“This could be the new norm for charitable events going forward, especially if social-distancing continues,” Cruze said. “We’re excited to be on board and help out an organization like the Victoria Foundation and its incredible response to the Rapid Relief Fund. If we can play a small role for the organization to help move it forward, that’s amazing.”

The Rapid Relief Fund was established by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist to help provide emergency relief to vulnerable residents. The fund has raised more than $5.4 million to date.

Organizers are also hoping viewers will support local businesses during the broadcast. Ocean 98.5 has provided a list of participating local restaurants on its website that will be open for takeout and delivery during the gala. To purchase tickets for the Stay at Home Gala, visit ocean985.com/events/stay-at-home-gala.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

HOW TO DONATE

Tax receipts will be issued. If you are open to receiving your tax receipt by PDF, please include an email address with your donation.

• Online: RapidReliefFund.ca

• Phone: 250-381-5532

• Mail: Send cheques (made out to the Victoria Foundation) to Rapid Relief Fund, Victoria Foundation, 200-703 Broughton St., Victoria V8W 1E2

The Rapid Relief Fund was created by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist to help people in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CHEK Television, Coast Outdoor Advertising and Black Press are helping to boost awareness. Every dollar received from donations goes out as grants to the community.

Donations are being distributed through the Victoria Foundation.

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