Luc Rinaldi and John Rugosi were two of the artists performing to help Aid to Women. Photo by Vanessa Santilli

Artists lend their talents to help Aid to Women

  • December 9, 2011

TORONTO - Singers, dancers, musicians and artists lent their talents to raise about $4,000 to support the pro-life charity Aid to Women at a Dec. 8 fundraiser at the El Mocambo nightclub.

The event was held on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“The owner of El Mocambo is a Marian devotee and he loves Mary and so he loves to donate his club on Marian feast days to causes that understand those feast days,” said Elena Repka, event organizer and vice-president of Aid to Women’s volunteer board of directors. She asked that the club owner not be named to respect his privacy.

Aid to Women provides sidewalk counselling, among other things, to women facing an unplanned pregnancy.

In addition to ticket sales, a silent auction was set up to help raise funds. Items up for auction included tickets to a Toronto FC soccer game, a round of golf and paintings.

Singer and songwriter Susan Hookong-Taylor, one of the evening’s performers, said it’s a beautiful thing to be part of an event created purely to lift other people up.

“It’s a real privilege to be able to do something like this because indirectly when you’re supporting these women, you’re supporting their lives and the lives of those who are coming along,” said Hookong-Taylor.

“You can’t expect these women to make choices in faith if we’re not supporting them… If you want them to feel hopeful, you have to give them some tangible reasons for hope,” she said, adding that women need support physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Ana Da Costa, who also performed, said she’s glad to be able to give back to the community through the gifts she’s been given from God.

“And it’s always great to be invited to something bigger than myself,” said the singer and songwriter.

“When a woman speaks to another woman to bless her, to comfort her, to give her strength, I think it’s a beautiful way of expressing what we can do for one another.”

Aid to Women president Michael Connell told the 100 people in attendance that we can do better than abortion.

“Thirty years ago, a group of people said I don’t know what the big answer is but I know there’s a woman right now making a decision and I wonder what would happen if I talked to her,” said Connell.

“I wonder what would happen if I treated that woman like I treat my wife, sister or daughter if she were making this decision.”

It’s a simple concept that in 30 years has saved thousands of babies and it’s saved women and families from going through the trauma of abortion, he said.

If a woman chooses to keep her baby, Aid to Women provides financial and material help and more counselling, said Repka.

For more information on Aid to Women, see

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