It was a night to leave running shoes and nursing uniforms in the closet and wear something fancy!
And that's just what students, faculty and staff from the School of Nursing (SON) and Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS) did for the 16th annual, and very popular, Nursing Charity Ball. It's the highlight of spirit week festivities that features a parade of sequined dresses, high heels, dangly ear-rings, smart suits and ties.
The evening includes a silent auction, live entertainment, special guest speakers, dinner and dancing – all for a great cause! Since the first Nursing Charity Ball was held 16 years, ago, nursing students have contributed thousands of dollars to local, community-based charities.
The recipient of this year's event is Street Reach, an outreach service of Thrive, part of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador's Community Youth Networks (CYN's). Street Reach helps people struggling with housing, hunger and other social issues in downtown St. John's.
Special invited guests to the Nursing Charity Ball included Debbie Forward of the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union and Lynn Power of the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador. The two, along with others, commended nursing students for their engagement with community, and made donations.
At the end of the night, students figured they had raised students over $8,000, funds that Thrive will put to good use.
"Donations help staff to go the extra distance it sometimes takes to support marginalized populations, because the level of social and systemic isolation is so great," Ellie Jones, director of programming for Thrive, told the audience.
And along with monetary contributions, there are other benefits that come from community involvement such as ones like the Nursing Charity Ball, she said.
"Through community partnerships and connections we are able to raise awareness and provide an avenue to engage future professionals in the conversation. It promotes the social change that is so key to creating a province where the most vulnerable people are protected."
The Nursing Charity Ball is one of the ways that nursing students come together to give back to community.
. "We work so hard to pull it (the charity ball) together and there's such a feeling of accomplishment because of that," said Megan Carey, who co-chaired the event along with Kayla Tobin, a nursing student from the Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS). "We are really proud to be part of this tradition."
"I think street reach is an important community service and it's so great for both schools to be able to help fundraise for them," said Ms. Tobin.
Community outreach and involvement is an important part of the culture at the School of Nursing. The Nursing Charity Ball is sponsored and supported by the SON's Nursing Society.