MONTREAL, APRIL 24, 2013 – Alesia's Magnolias is an annual fundraising event held as a tribute to a little girl named Alesia, who passed away from an extremely rare heart condition in May 2010. She was only two years old. Her parents Sheyda and Bill Karidogiannis decided to pour their hearts into an annual event that would honour the memory of their little girl while also raising money for a cause that would help families and children just like their own.
The event itself is a celebration - an indoor fair for children of all ages offering a wide range of activities, like arts and crafts, face painting, cupcake decorating and inflatable games - all the things that Alesia loved and more. With a modest entrance fee that includes live performances and lunch, it has quickly become a much anticipated annual event for families in the Montreal area. More than 2,000 people attended the second edition on June 3, 2012, and helped raise more than $52,000 for the Pediatric Cardiology Unit at the Montreal Children's Hospital.
Proceeds from the very first event in 2011 were used to purchase a heart monitoring machine, and to fund a Patient Care Room (which will bear Alesia's name) on the Pediatric Cardiology floor at the new hospital. This private room will be fully equipped for a child's needs and include a proper bed for parents and a comfortable family area.
This year’s third edition was held on Sunday, April 14 at the Centre de congrès Palace in Laval. During the planning stages, the organizers of the event, Alesia’s parents Sheyda and Bill, were asking for volunteers, sponsors and donations. One particular activity, Alesia’s Magical Makeover, required skilled aestheticians and hairdressers to transform little girls into the Princess of their choice before having their photo taken by a professional photographer. This is how a group of students from the English Montreal School Board got involved.
Inspired by a suggestion from Pedagogical Services Assistant Director Athina Galanogeorgos, Laurier Macdonald Vocational Centre Principal Angela Spagnolo volunteered two teachers (Elizabeth Cacchione and Toni Iannizzi) and a group of students in the Aesthetics and Hairdressing programs to participate in this very worthwhile fundraising event. LMAC is located in St. Léonard. The story of this little girl and her family was truly inspirational and the fact that a group of our EMSB students was able to put their talents to work for such a worthy cause is something of which we should all be proud.
The fundraiser is not only a way of giving back to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, but also necessary for healing by transforming such a tragic event to something so beautiful and hopeful.
If you’d like to donate or find out more about the event go to: www.alesiasmagnolias.com
Photography by Neeko Photo Studios www.neeko.ca