Toronto Netralya Lions Club Gala on May 5, 2018

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To Support Eye Health for Toronto’s Indigenous Community

By A Correspondent

Members of Toronto Netralya Lions Club (TNLC) invite the community to join them for the 2018 Lions Gala for Sight on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 6 pm at the AVANI event centre in Vaughan.  Net proceeds from the event will be donated to Anishnawbe Health Foundation (AHF) to support an Eye Exam Room and Diabetes care for Toronto’s Indigenous community.  Information on tickets and sponsorships are available at

“The Gala expects to attract nearly 500 people and will include a fabulous reception, gourmet dinner, raffle draw, door prizes and entertainment, blending the Club’s South Asian culture with performances from Toronto’s Indigenous community,” says Lion Kanta Arora, Founding Member, Club President and Gala Chair.

In Canada, Diabetes is a leading cause of preventable eye disease.  It is also the sixth leading cause of death and one in three Canadians with Diabetes will develop Retinopathy which can cause irreversible vision loss if Diabetes is not managed and blood sugar controlled. For Indigenous Peoples in particular, Diabetes is at unprecedented levels, at least three to five times higher than non-Indigenous counterparts with the onset of the disease occurring at a much younger age and complications becoming more severe.

 “Anishnawbe Health Foundation is proud to be the beneficiary of this Gala event to help improve and expand Diabetes management and control programs to prevent Diabetes-related eye disease in Toronto’s Indigenous community.  We are extremely grateful for the tremendous work of President Lion Kanta Arora, the organizing committee, members and sponsors who are working to make this event a great success.  We encourage everyone to get behind the event and purchase a ticket,” says Julie Cookson, Executive Director of the Foundation.

Arora, who is spearheading the fundraiser, says that this is the first time our Lions community and the Indian diaspora has taken the lead to raise funds for the Indigenous Community of Canada.   

“It is a matter of great pride for all of us and I want to thank my entire Gala team, Board of Directors, Lion Dr. Mike Sarin who are working so hard to make this fundraiser a success,” says Arora, co-founder, multiple award winner, media personality and organizer of many fundraisers having raised thousands of dollars for various initiatives.  “I also want to thank Lion Dr. Chandrakant Shah O.Ont and Julie Cookson Executive Director, AHF and also express my gratitude to all our sponsors.  I urge all of you to support this great cause and help contribute to our fundraising efforts for this very important cause.”

About Toronto Netralya Lions Club (TNLC):

Toronto Netralya Lions Club is a service club dedicated to ending preventable blindness and providing funding for programs that help eradicate eye disease in underprivileged communities.  Since its inception in 2009, the Club has raised more than a half a million dollars for various local and global humanitarian causes and charities mainly involved with “Excellence in vision research, preventable blindness and excellence in Diabetes management.”  For more information, visit

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Over 1.4 million members in more than 46,000 clubs provide humanitarian service in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened communities through hands on service and humanitarian projects. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit 

About Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT) and Anishnawbe Health Foundation (AHF):

Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a fully accredited Community Health Centre.  Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in spirit, mind, emotion and body by providing traditional healing within a multi-disciplinary health care model.  AHT is at the forefront of providing culturally safe Diabetes management and prevention programs for this community where 90% of its population live at or below Canada’s low income line.   The top fundraising priority for this organization is a new, purpose built community health centre which will include expanded space and facilities such as an eye exam room and other facilities to promote the prevention and control of Diabetes. For more information, visit

Anishnawbe Health Foundation is a registered charity that supports the work of Anishnawbe Health Toronto.  Its inaugural project is a $10 million capital campaign to help fund the community share portion of a new Community Health Centre building that will bring all of AHT’s services under one roof in the West Don Lands neighborhood.

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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