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Diary | Boobyball Mini Vancouver 2017

I’ve been to my fair share of fundraising events. Heck, I’ve thrown my fair share of fundraising events. But I’d never been to one geared specifically for kids. And I think the idea is genius.

Rethink Breast Cancer threw an enchanted forest-themed event for the Boobyball Mini, which is, as you guessed, geared to the minis. It had a magic wand-making station, a face painting station, a silent auction (whre I won a session with All City Athletics!) a dance floor that was packed with preschoolers bouncing around to Bruno Mars…

…and a reading corner that my baby bookworms got a real kick out of. It was quite the memorable way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

And it raised more than $17,000, a huge amount for mini people.

Get Involved | Variety BC’s One Night in Monte Carlo Gala

When I was backpacking through Europe during undergrad, I tried to get into a very swanky casino in Monte Carlo. And was denied. The security guard looked my friend and I up and down, zeroed in on our flip flops (which had trod more hostel floors than he could have known) and gave us the boot.

A post shared by Kelsey Dundon (@kelseydundon) on

The folks at Variety BC’s One Night in Monte Carlo gala were much more welcoming.

The inaugural event — which featured dinner, dancing, and a casino of sorts — took place at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel and raised $200,000 for the foundation’s mobility program.

And, to follow up on the Global Television segment I did to help promote the event, I wore this Halston Heritage gown. With Rebecca Minkoff heels instead of flip flops.

Get involved | Variety BC’s One Night in Monte Carlo Gala

Here’s a serious question for you: If you could be any princess, who would you be? Kate Middleton? Elsa from Frozen? I’d choose Charlotte of Monaco. The woman is pure glamour (she’s Grace Kelly’s granddaughter after all), and seems to live a life of galas, yachts and horseback riding.

Why do I ask? (Aside from, you know…general curiosity?) Because Variety BC’s newest gala One Night in Monte Carlo is coming up on April 8th, which means a princess’s gown collection would come in handy. The gala will feature live entertainment, a red carpet, bespoke cocktails and fine dining at the Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver. But the best part? It benefits Variety’s mobility program, which provides Sunshine Coaches for community organizations and offers safe, wheelchair-enabled transportation for families with children needing support.

I’ll be there! Will you? Get your tickets here.

Now, if you have a princess’ gown budget, you’re already set wardrobe-wise, I’m sure. But if you need a little inspiration for what to wear on a less-than-royal budget, I stopped by Global BC to share some ideas from Hudson’s Bay, Aldo, Town Shoes, Le Chateau, H&M, all provided by Coquitlam Centre. Take a look.

Thanks for having me, Variety and Global BC! And thanks as always for your help, Jerome Insorio!

Tune In | Timmy’s Telethon!

I’ve been working a lot with Easter Seals this year — at woman2warrior and, as evidenced by the picture above, at their terrifyingly terrifying Drop Zone.

It’s a nausea-inducing rappel down the side of an office building in downtown Vancouver.

Which, if you actually look over the edge, has a beautiful view of the water, mountains and tiny little people 20 storeys below.

I was scared. So scared.

But I did it!

And tomorrow night I’ll be supporting Easter Seals at Timmy’s Telethon, co-hosting the social desk for my third year in a row with the lovely Bianca Solterbeck (Sunday, December 7th from 6:00-8:00). Tweet at us @TimmysTelethon or holler at us on Facebook and we’ll share your stories on the air!

P.S. I’ll also be sharing behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram so follow @KelseyDundon.

Get Involved | Dress for Success

They always say you should dress for the job you want. But what if you don’t have the means to? That’s where Dress for Success comes in. The Vancouver chapter alone served more than 2,000 disadvantaged women last year. And they did more than dress them for interviews; they provided career coaching, interview prep, resumé polishing — the works.

I stopped by the Vancouver chapter to meet with their marketing and sponsorship manager Christina Florencio and style a few mannequins for them. You know what kind of donations they need? Cash. ($30 a month will put one woman through the suite of Dress for Success programs.) And work-appropriate handbags.

A little while back The Anthology hosted a dinner in support of Dress for Success. It was such a fun night. Were you there?

Interview | TEDxVancouver Speaker: Treana Peake of Obakki

TEDxVancouver is one of those events where you leave feeling inspired, energized and just a little exhausted. It’s like a full day of school taught by your favourite professors; at the end of it your brain is buzzing. And this year it’s going to be bigger than ever.

Among the lineup of speakers are lululemon founder Chip Wilson, CTV news anchor Coleen Christie and the creative force behind Obakki: Treana Peake. I’ve long admired Treana’s design work — her collections are stunningly beautiful — but what I find even more inspiring is the work she does with the Obakki Foundation, which has drilled more than 600 water wells and built a dozen schools in South Sudan and Cameroon. In just five years.

On October 18th, she’ll speak to this at the largest TEDx event the city has seen. But I caught up with her first to give you a sneak peek.

What do you look forward to most about sharing your experience with TEDxVancouver?

TEDx is such an incredible platform and I am very honoured to be a part of it this year.  I look forward to sharing some of the guiding principles that drive me in my philanthropic work, as well as hopefully inspiring others to notice the incredible impact that their own acts of kindness play in the world.

In the five years you’ve been running the Obakki Foundation, have you noticed a shift in how people perceive the relationship between fashion and philanthropy?

I think people are starting to notice fashion, and other business platforms open up to involve charitable initiatives, but I also think the consumers are quick to notice when it is just a marketing pitch vs. something authentic. It is a constant job of ours to show how serious we are – and how much our humanitarian projects fundamentally drive us as a company. Over the last five years we have been able to create a growing community of like-minded citizens who are helping to make change in the world!

Does your experience as a designer make you a better philanthropist? 

My experience as a designer specifically doesn’t make me a better philanthropist – but my creativity certainly does. I believe it is our job in the development sector to bring awareness to these large global issues in a unique way. I think people are tired of seeing the same tired images and sad stories continually associated with places like Africa.

What about the other way around – does your experience as a philanthropist make you a better designer?

My experience as a philanthropist definitely makes me a better designer as I don’t have to chase inspiration – it lives inside me, and comes from that natural place. Everything we do at Obakki is fueled by passion and stems from a solid commitment and dedication to our philanthropic initiatives.

To hear more about Treana’s work with the Obakki Foundation, and to fill your brain with a million more ideas, get tickets to TEDxVancouver.

The Drop Zone!

I am terrified of heights. So, so terrified of heights. And the thought of doing rappelling off a 20-storey high rise makes me nauseous.

But I try to live by the law of Tina Fey: “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterward.” So when my friends at Easter Seals asked if I wanted to do The Drop Zone this year, I felt like I was going to be sick and then I said yes.

Funds from this adrenaline-fuelled event support two causes close to my heart: Easter Seals Camps, which are fully accessible sleep-away camps for children with disabilities. And Easter Seals House, a supportive place where families can stay while their little ones receive care at BC Children’s Hospital.

Want to do the Drop with me on September 8, 2014? Sign up here. Rather keep your feet on the ground and pledge me instead? Donate here. If you’ve already donated, THANK YOU!!!