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The Dragon Ball 2009 - Metro Toronto Convention Centre (January 24, 2009)

(TORONTO) – The largest Chinese New Year celebration of its kind, the annual Dragon Ball, was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building on January 24, 2009. More than 1,200 patrons joined in the celebration as they welcomed the Year of the Ox.

“This year’s Dragon Ball is certainly a milestone event as we are celebrating the gala’s 20th anniversary,” said Jim Ritchie, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing of Tridel Corporation, who also chaired this premier fundraising gala in 1997 and 2002. “It took our organizing committee eight months to prepare for tonight and we have 300 volunteers on duty to bring it to life.”

Attended by the likes of Lieutenant Governor David Onley, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, senior corporate executives, community leaders and other dignitaries, the Dragon Ball offers the best of the best – lavish decoration painstakingly assembled by volunteers; the most unique auction items; the exquisite cuisine offered during the grand reception, dinner and midnight buffet; talented performers coming from across Canada.

“When we were planning for the first gala in 1990, we wanted to use a special occasion where we can unite the community for a worthy cause – to build a culturally-appropriate facility for Chinese seniors,” explained Dr. Joseph Wong, Founder and Chair of the Yee Hong Foundation. “We wanted to make the gala really special so people would come back year after year.” Come back, they did. Over the past 19 years, the Dragon Ball has raised close to $16 Million for Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. The dream of building a Yee Hong Centre became a reality in 1994 and within a decade three more centres would be built.

Dragon Ball 2009 provided many highlights:

Fresh oysters and clams, sushi, traditional Peking duck, suckling pig and dim sum were part of the RBC Financial Group Grand Reception menu. There was also a Martini Bar.
A 4-course dinner featuring a Red Tuna Sashimi Salad, Double-Boiled Bouillabaisse Soup, the most tender Roasted Duck Breast with lotus leaf-wrapped rice, and a special dessert designed by Dufflet Pastries.
The entertainment, sponsored by TD Canada Trust Music, showcased a wonderful lineup of performers – a 20-piece orchestra (The Canadian Sinfonietta), a 40-member youth choir (Young Singers), and a lion dance involving 10 lions (Sunny Tang Performance Troupe) and renowned Canadian tenors (Destino).

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