Courage is contagious

Tribute Dinner guests were treated to an evening of great inspiration and storytelling – as they reflected on the meaning of heroism and raised funds for St. Joseph’s highest priority needs.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered together for St. Joseph’s Tribute Dinner on October 20 – and were inspired by the many messages of courage, conviction and determination. 

The compelling stories about four patients’ care journeys and the commitment from the team at St. Joseph’s Ivey Eye Institute set the stage for what promised to be a wonderful evening celebrating heroism. 

Tribute honorees Kim and Paul Spriet shared an emotional reflection about their partnership with the Run for Retina Research, what it has meant to them, their family and their hopes for enriching the future for people receiving care at the Ivey Eye Institute. Their impassioned speech and story were met by a standing ovation from the audience. 

Special guest Ambassador ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, who safely guided a US Airways jetliner to an emergency landing on the frigid Hudson River in 2009, shared first-hand accounts of the 208 seconds from the bird strike to landing on that fateful day. From his thought process, conversations with his co-pilot and messaging to his team and people on the flight – it was an extraordinary exercise in leadership. 

He believed, at the time, and still does today, that his courage throughout the whole situation would be contagious and because of that the outcome would be positive. During his presentation, you could hear a pin drop as people sat riveted listening to his story. 

The annual fundraising event wouldn’t have been complete without a fabulous raffle featuring a diamond pendant and earring set from Nash Jewellers, a shopping spree at Channer’s and dinner out with friends from G’nosh West, and a travel package from Ellison Travel and Tours and Flair Airlines. Dinner guests were excited to take part in the raffle, which raised more than $32,000. That’s in addition to the more than $350,000 in sponsorship received from 46 very generous sponsors who partnered with St. Joseph’s for the event. 

Proceeds from the annual fundraising dinner, are being directed to the Spirit of St. Joseph’s Fund – which provides support for St. Joseph’s highest-priority care, teaching and research needs.

A Tribute to Kim & Paul Spriet


Back to all Stories