>> View Aroni Awards INSPIRE Gala 2009 Gallery
The 4th Annual Aroni Awards sported a new venue this year, after being held at the Atlantis Pavilion three years prior. This year the event was held at trendy Arcadian Court, which is celebrating its 80 yrs of history. The 5500 square foot Arcadian Court Ballroom boasted an impressive layout of chandeliers, stunning architectural integrity, and a balcony overlooking the sprawling main dining area. The evening began promptly at 5:30pm with a cocktail reception. Guests included sponsor representatives, entrepreneurs, community activists, local politicians, recording artists, and extended friends and family of Aron. Entering the reception area, guests were greeted with a soothing serenade by Meagan De Lima- Trio. Only steps away, the bar was in full swing, Chardonnay and Merlot seemed to be the order of the evening.
As guests worked the crowd looking for familiar faces and making new acquaintances, they also had the opportunity to partake in one of the more memorable events of the Aroni Awards…the silent auction. Some of the items garnering the lion’s share of the attention included, Tiffany sunglasses, Toronto Raptors signed jerseys, CD collections, to name a few.
After being seated, the event began with a tone-setting performance by the Manding Foli Kan Don drummers. Dressed in an intriguing indigenous garb, the combination of male and female drummers provoked every rthymic sensation in your body. This was followed by Toronto Deputy Mayor, Joe Pantalone’s Welcome Remarks. The event was hosted by funny man Jay Martin, one of Canada’s premier entertainers and TV hostess Patricia Juggarnaut. Talk about chemistry, if I didn’t know any better I’d say these two would make the perfect couple.
The entire evening was truly magical, but there were certainly a few highlights of the evening. Whether it was Mesfun Haile’s surprisingly authentic Nigerian accent as he introduced Doctor Dr Alex Macgregor, two soothing ballads by vocalist Saidah Baba Talibah, or recording artist Kim Davis showcasing her incredible vocal talent. The 2009 AroniMAGE awards were presented to Jermaine Bagnall (Media/Sports), Schools Without Borders (Organization), Big it Up (Entrepreneurship), Thando Hyman-Aman (Education), Mitzie Hunter (Community). The 2009 AroniAwards Education Grants were presented to Aman Y. Sultan, Troy Knights and Chante Barnwell.
There was a consistent sense of “duty” and “community” permeating throughout the evening, as each presenter and recipient spoke of devoting their time, energy and resources to causes much greater than themselves. It was a fitting tribute to Aron Haile and a reminder of what a short, but yet fulfilling life looked like.
As the evening festivities wrapped up with formalities and thank you’s, the lobby buzzed in early anticipation of the 5th Annual Aroni Awards.>> View Aroni Awards INSPIRE Gala 2009 Gallery