Canadian military community honoured at Gala
TORONTO, ON–Serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families were recognized on November 7, 2019 at True Patriot Love Foundation’s 11th Annual Tribute Gala, presented by Bell. True Patriot Love is Canada’s leading organization supporting the military community and funds critical programs across Canada for military members, Veterans and families in need. The Gala, which is the country’s largest celebration in support of Canada’s military, was attended by close to 1,000 business and community leaders, military personnel, Silver Cross families, distinguished military representatives, and other dignitaries. The event raised $1.6 million, and these funds will support hundreds of local programs across the country to help with the mental and physical challenges associated with military service.
“We owe a great deal to Canada’s men and women in uniform, and tonight we pay tribute to their service and sacrifice,” said Nick Booth, CEO of True Patriot Love Foundation. “As we approach Remembrance Day, we will be wearing our poppies in honour of those who have served Canada in many wars over the last hundred years. But the impacts of conflict are not just felt in November. Many members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families live with the realities of military life 365 days a year. True Patriot Love Foundation exists for them.”
During the event, guests heard personal stories from those who have benefitted from True Patriot Love’s support such as Master Corporal (Retired) Natalie Forcier who participated in True Patriot Love’s expedition to Baffin Island having left the military following injury. She subsequently experienced mental health challenges. Throughout the journey, she gained valuable mentorship from business leaders, which motivated her to start her own business. “Getting out of the military, I felt alone, I felt empty, I felt like this great thing I had done before no longer reflected who I was,” said Forcier. “That’s where True Patriot Love gave me reason and a cause to do something bigger for myself. Having the business mentors there to help us and guide us along the way was incredible and crucial to keep going”.
Each year, the Patriot Award is presented at the event to recognize an individual or an organization that has made an outstanding philanthropic contribution to the resilience and wellbeing of the military community and has shown exceptional efforts in raising funds and awareness for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families. This year, the award was presented to Canso Investment Counsel for their outstanding support of Canada’s military, which has helped countless serving members, Veterans and families in need.
About True Patriot Love Foundation
Founded in 2009, True Patriot Love Foundation has become Canada’s leading organization supporting the military community. The foundation raises awareness around the challenges related to military service and funds programs for serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families that support their well-being, enable rehabilitation and recovery from injury, assist the children and spouses of those who serve, and promote re-integration into communities following service. Since inception, True Patriot Love has committed over $28 million in funding to 825 community-based programs across the country, which has helped change the lives of more than 30,000 military members, Veterans and families.