November 17, 2022 · 0 Comments
By Zacharias Roman
Bethell Hospice is the ‘diamond’ in the Caledon Hills.
Bonnie Ledson, one of six namesake “divas” who organize the annual Diamond in the Hills Fashion Show in support of Bethell Hospice, said that’s how she and her team came up with the name for their event.
The 2022 show was held at The Arlington Estate in Kleinburg on November 13, in front of a sold out crowd of over 400 women.
Ledson explained that there were seven divas, but one withdrew from the organization at 85. The remaining six divas: Ledson, Debbie Glover, Barb Gough, Barb Goodhand, Danila Maric,
and Judy Petursson — all are between the ages of 67 and 83 and have been planning the event since September.
“They’re all dynamic people, they’re all good workers, they all have their roles and we get along really well,” Ledson said, adding that when the work is done, the divas also love to party together. “We all really believe in Bethell.”
Ledson said sponsors play a huge role in raising funds for the fashion show, so much so that before the show even started he knew $202,000 had been raised. Ledson said the divas were able to lock in 12 different sponsors at the $10,000 level, which was a big help. Live and Silent Auctions were added to the fundraising totals on the day of the fashion show. Fundraising involves a lot of legwork and Ledson explained that the divas have been touring the entire industrial area of Bolton looking for sponsors.
“We are very appreciative of our wonderful sponsors and donors, and Ramy Sallal, owner of Arlington Estate, who lives in Caledon and is very supportive of our event,” Ledson said.
Ledson said her love of fashion came from a time when she sewed all her own clothes because she couldn’t afford to do anything else.
She said that herself and other divas love to dress up in elegant clothes. Every year, the divas try to make the fashion show bigger and better, and they also raise more money. The first time the show aired, $41,000 was raised, but they knew they could do better. Now, the fashion show is a big part of Bethell Hospice’s annual fundraiser.
Bethell Hospice Foundation Executive Director Nicole Hand said she was extremely grateful for the diva’s outstanding work in organizing a successful event.
“Community events are extremely important to the Bethell Hospice Foundation, especially during the current post-pandemic situation,” Hand said. “The committee’s belief in the importance of palliative care in the community is truly appreciated.”