Annual Holiday Lunch Once Again Connected Our Community With Cheer

By Michelle Kofman, CEM – Co-Chair Marketing and Communications Committee

December 11, 2019 brought the industry together for the Annual Holiday Lunch at The International Centre. Greeted by Donner and Blitzen at the entrance, guests were welcomed into a warm and festive atmosphere, conducive to networking with new people, and catching up with old friends.

The afternoon included many fundraising favourites, including the Reindeer Raffle, which offered many wonderful prizes, and a 50/50 draw. In a beautiful room softly lit in blue, the friendly and flawless emcee skills of the Event Co-Chairs, Kelly Antonaros, CEM and Jeff Drover, engaged guests and held their attention for the duration.

The International Centre encouraged attendees to get into the spirit of the season by providing everyone with a $10 bill so they could donate to a charity of their choice and share their donation by tagging @ICpresents and #GiveBackCAEM.

A highlight of the season is the annual food drive, spearheaded by Dion Burt and Lange Transportation & Storage. CAEM members are a super generous bunch, and this year collectively donated a record 27,777 lbs! Collections came from 11 member companies, plus 2 bins at the luncheon.

The top three companies for the 2019 food drive were:

  • 1st place – The International Centre with a total weight collection of 12,600 lbs
  • 2nd place – GES with a total weight collection of 7,617 lbs
  • 3rd place – Freeman with a total weight collection of 2,466 lbs

It should be noted that since the inception of the food drive, twenty years ago, CAEM members have donated a total of 260,000 pounds of food. WOWZA!! That’s a big number. Thank you to Lange Transportation & Storage for their ongoing commitment to this initiative, each year consistently taking the lead and making it happen. Much gratitude to the many companies who donated to the raffle prizes, their varied contributions were exceptional.

Thank you for the CAEM office for their continued support in making sure the CAEM events happen.

The Holiday Lunch committee members include:

  • Kelly Antonaros, CEM, ZoomerMedia Limited
  • Jeff Drover, Stronco Show Services
  • Simona Mazat, CEM, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
  • Tyler Hersco, Microspec/TIX123

Thank you as well to all of our event sponsors: The International Centre, Freeman, Stronco, Conexsys Registration, Lange, Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport, Robinson Show Services, Target Investigation & Security, OPS Event Rentals, Canadian Gift Association, Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows, Enercare Centre,, GES, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North American Logistics Services Inc., The Toronto Congress Centre, TWI Group, Brand M3dia Group

See the 2019 Holiday Lunch photos here!