For immediate release: STRUT2019 Lunch & Gala


For immediate release: STRUT2019 Lunch & Gala

27 April, 2019 at 7:00 - 10:00 510 - West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

Polish your high heels! Put on your finest! Vancouver’s signature STRUT fundraiser is getting ready to hit the streets.

The event, scheduled for June 8, raises money for Rainbow Foundation of Hope (FOH), which works to help LGBT+ refugees fleeing persecution. Tonight organizers will host a launch event and gala to kick off the fundraising efforts.

As a world leader in supporting LGBT+ refugees, Canada was the first country to allow private sponsorship of asylum seekers and refugees.

“Canada is a world leader in supporting LGBT+ refugees. We were the first country to create policy allowing concerned citizens to privately sponsor asylum seekers and refugees,” says Chad Wilkinson, FOH president. “Other nations are following suit. Canadian organizations we fund are fielding increasing numbers of calls from people facing persecution. Our community here, and our allies, are a beacon of hope to people who face some horrible situations.”

Foundation of Hope grants money to “Circles of Hope” – groups of private Canadian citizens supporting a refugee during their first year of settlement as a newcomer. Money also goes to myriad community support programs to help newcomers overcome past trauma and successfully resettle. Finally, FOH supports a coalition of civil society groups across Canada to work with the Canadian government on LGBT+ refugee issues.

“Canada is the only country in the world that places a special focus on helping LGBT+ people facing persecution simply because of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression,” says Wilkinson. “We raise money to support the refugees – we are all volunteers, including the Canadian sponsors helping LGBT+ newcomers begin a new life. We channel funding from donors who can help financially, and caring volunteers who donate their time, to the refugees who arrive. It’s amazing to watch – both for the newcomers, and for those who welcome them.”  

Foundation of Hope’s key fundraiser is STRUT, to be held this year on June 8 on the seawall in Vancouver’s West End. Participants complete a walkathon in high heels “to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” says Wilkinson. Tonight’s event begins the STRUT fundraising effort.

STRUT Launch & Gala: April 27 from 7:00 pm @ TELUS Garden


Media are welcome to attend the STRUT Launch & Gala tonight to learn more about Rainbow Foundation of Hope and the increasing scope of LGBT+ Refugee settlement in Canada.

1 Comment

  1. Blair | April 27, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    So much fun, so much love, and all for a wonderful effort to welcome more people to Canada.

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