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UNICEF “Water for Life” Gala raises funds in support of life-saving water programs for children

2015-09-29

CALGARY, September 29, 2015 – On October 3, Calgary will celebrate the 23rd Annual UNICEF “Water for Life” Gala in support of UNICEF’s life-saving work for children around the globe. This year’s event will feature:

  • A fabulous four-course dinner created especially for the event by Hyatt Regency Calgary’s Executive Chef David Flegel.
  • An inspiring keynote speech by UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Bayan Yammout, and her remarkable story of survival as a child born in Lebanon during the civil war where she spent 17 years witnessing first-hand what it means to be a child impacted by conflict.
  • More than 140 exceptional auction items.

The “Water for Life” Gala allows Calgarians to provide clean drinking water to the children and communities who need it most. Globally, more than 663 million people lack access to safe, sustainable sources of water.

Keynote speaker and UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Bayan Yammout, will speak of the life-saving effect clean water can have for children living in conflict-affected countries.

“I was born and grew up in Beirut at the beginning of a 17-year war that left over 150,000 dead and many more injured. I witnessed shelling of residential areas, artillery exchanges between militias steps from my home and school, explosions of car bombs in markets, and home raids. When I was just few months old, it was water provided by UNICEF that filled my baby bottles. During the war, clean drinking water was no longer available. Families and communities were desperate, and relief would only come when UNICEF and their partners provided our neighbourhood with tanks of clean water,” says UNICEF Ambassador Bayan Yammout. “In supporting UNICEF’s Gala, Calgarians can be proud to be part of a global movement to bring clean drinking water to children and families around the world.”

UNICEF leads water, sanitation and hygiene programs in more than 100 countries around the world. In 2014, UNICEF provided 13.8 million people with improved access to clean drinking water, provided clean water to 18 million people living in emergency situations and provided 11.3 million people with sanitation facilities.

Since the first gala in 1993, “Water for Life” Galas have raised almost $10 million thanks to the generosity of Calgarians. This year’s goal is to raise $1,000,000 to fund UNICEF programs reaching the world’s most vulnerable children.

The 2014 Calgary “Water for Life” Gala raised funds that helped provide clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion in Ratanakiri, one of the least developed and remote provinces in Cambodia, directly benefitting 22,000 people.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, food security, education, emergency relief, and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

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For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.

Media Interviews:

  • Friday, October 2nd - media opportunity in studio with Sharon Avery, Chief Development Officer UNICEF Canada
  • Saturday, October 3rd – media opportunity in studio or at Gala (Hyatt Regency Calgary) with David Morley, President & CEO UNICEF Canada
For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.