WFIM Holiday Gala 2023

The WFIM Holiday Gala on November 23, 2023 at the Millennium Gardens in Brampton was again a resounding success. The huge attendance of almost 300 attendees, the largest in WFIM’s history speaks of the popularity of this gala. Many people travelled long distances to attend this event. It was a fantastic evening! Everything went smoothly and was well organized. The venue was beautiful and festive. The food was delicious. Amazing expensive raffle gifts! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. There was good laughter, networking and socializing.

Margaret Hudson, president of Burnbrae Farms was an inspiring keynote speaker. The title of her speech was Leading in Challenging Times. She gave us a brief history of Burnbrae Farms, when her great grandfather Joseph Hudson bought a farm in Lyn, Ontario, after he immigrated from Scotland in 1891. Now Burnbrae Farms are found across Canada. It is the largest national egg producing business. It was most informative to learn how Burnbrae farms have progressed, with the times in doing sustainable farming, recycling and installing solar panels for clean energy and efficiency. Margaret’s speech was most encouraging to all the women and entrepreneurs in the food industry in attendance.

It was heartwarming to see many companies attending, and being involved in donating raffle gifts to raise money for Margaret’s charity of choice, the non profit organization SWIM DRINK FISH.

Why I joined WFIM?

I was a first time attendee at last year’s gala in 2022. I was very impressed with the gala, guest speaker Jana Sobey, and the values of WFIM that I decided to join as a member. I like events that provide a venue for women to network, share their knowledge and experience. The mentorship program offers support and advice to aspiring women in the food industry. The annual Donna Messer scholarships to two qualified students in Food Sciences can help provide financial support and recognition of their academic achievements. I like the donations that WFIM makes to organizations like Second Harvest to ensure food security.

I am also impressed with the other events that WFIM offers throughout the year. On Tuesday March 21, 2023 it was Network and Nibbles Night. The theme of the evening was Females Focus on the Future of Food. There was a panel of Food Preneurs. They talked about how they started developing and selling their products. The event allowed women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and opportunity for attendees to sample their products.

On Friday, April 28, 2023 was the Virtual Sustainability Summit wIth 10 sessions of vital importance on the need for sustainability in all aspects of our life, care of our environment, reduction of food waste and much more. The notable speakers were experts in their field.

The annual golf tournament Nine and Dine was held at Glen Abbey and gave WFIM sponsors, members and colleagues to have fun, network and win prizes too. Raffle prize proceeds went to Second Harvest. WFIM is proud to be a long term supporter of Second Harvest.

Why I Want to be a Volunteer?

All these events are big in scope with hundreds of people attending. They require a lot of planning, organizing and coordination. WFIM is an entirely voluntary organization. The members have demanding jobs and busy family life. Committed members and volunteers are needed to ensure that these important events will run smoothly and successfully. Many hands make the workload lighter. I have learned so much from attending these interesting WFIM events. I want to give back and volunteer my time to help in whatever way I can. Volunteering can be a rewarding experience with opportunities to learn, grow, network and make new friends. I am proud to be a WFIM member and happy to volunteer for this great women organization.

Submitted by MeeKin Wong