Have you seen the spectacular Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) Virtual Gala ? It was live streamed last week and can now be seen via their website at https://www.icrfmontreal.org.

The annual Gala usually takes place at Place des Arts, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 43rd edition went online. Award-winning concert pianist, entertainer and talk show host Gregory Charles performed his engaging interactive show from Nocturne, his Griffintown sound studio. Hundreds of people watched from the comfort of their own home. There were also cameo performances from Montreal based artists jazz-pop singer Nikki Yanofsky, singer-songwriter Geoffroy and Hip Hop violinist Marika Fellegi.

All of the proceeds will fund clinical and research fellowships at the Jewish General Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital and Ste-Justine/Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospitals.

More than $190,000 was raised. But at the end of the presentation, ICRF Montreal President Jeffrey Bernstein announced that businessman and philanthropist Mike Flinker and his wife Dr. Marcia Gillman, a palliative care physician at the Jewish General Hospital, had agreed to sponsor a Fellow in colorectal surgery for wo years at a cost of $210,000, bringing the grand total to over $400,000. The Fellow will begin in September of 2021 under the auspices of Dr. Sender Liberman.

This evening was dedicated to ICRF supervising physicians and leading oncologists Dr. Walter Gotlieb, Dr. Lorenzo Ferri and Dr. Marc Isler, who together with their front-line teams provide exceptional care for cancer patients during these demanding times. ICRF Israel Chapter Chairman Tamir Gilat gave an inspiring address of how he remarkably beat cancer.

In his address, Dr. Gotlieb noted that the ICRF Montreal chapter has funded seven Israeli Fellows who have conducted innovative cancer research in the city. “Since 1975, ICRF has raised $75 million US to support over 2,500 research projects globally- mainly in Israel, the US and Canada,” he explained.

Ambassadors for the evening were Gilat, Robert Bard, Noah Billick, Dale Boidman, Esan Ellis, Jordanna Feifer. Mike Flinker , Samuel Gewurz, Leonard Gordon, Brandon MacGregor, Christinne Muschi, Bonnie Ostrov, Alana Wexler Schwartz, Lawrence Vatch, Evelyn Wajcer, Stephanie Weschler and Sonia Zarbatany. This was all the brainchild of ICRF CEO Alexandra Schwartz, ably assisted by General Manager Sheryl Ramroop.

SUBURBAN ON AIR: Please tune in to Suburban On Air, for my latest Cohen in the City video feature with three Juvenile Diabetes Research Fondation (JDRF) ambassadors: country music star George Canyon, endurance athlete and motivational speaker Sebastien Sasseville and Grade 5 student Olivia Medeiros. Please go to: https://www.thesuburban.com/on_air/cohen_in_the_city. Next week Gregory Charles will join me.

COHEN CHATTER: Former Montreal Alouettes President Patrick Boivin may have been in the right place at the right time. Had he still been in charge of the football team he’d be facing the prospect of a cancelled 2020 season. Instead he is now working with AseptCo, one of the leading supplier to the Quebec government for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). With COVID-19, there are no shortage of people taking his calls….Bravo to Edwin Brownell. The local musician has performed more than 70, 30 to 45 minute concerts on Facebook right from his home. You can catch him Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 7 pm. His wife Nechama says he is getting views from all over the world and she plans to create a book on this achievement….. …The building which housed the Rotisserie St-Hubert Restaurant on Côte des Neiges Road has come tumbling down. It seems the property owners are constructing condos. When complete in 2021, St-Hubert will be set up on the ground floor. In the meantime, they have moved in next to Harvey’s about a mile down the road for take-out.

Something to share? Email mcohen@thesuburban.com, follow me on Twitter @mikecohencsl and on our blog section at www.thesuburban.com

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