Proud To Be Bullyfree Gala raises the roof – and over $125k at evening bash

Annual Anti-bullying Gala at Brookstreet Hotel makes successful return after two-year break
Attendees swing their napkins to the beat of music
Attendees swing their napkins to the beat of the music. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @
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After a two-year hiatus, over 300 guests got dressed up last Saturday night to raise awareness for bullying prevention at the annual Proud To Be Bullyfree Gala. 

The event was held at the Brookstreet Hotel’s convention room, which featured balcony access overlooking the stunning Marshes Golf Club.

Marshes Golf Course
Balcony access overlooks the groomed grasses of the Marshes Golf Club. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @

The Proud To Be Bullyfree Gala raises funds for the Proud To Be Me (PTBM) organization, which empowers and educates the leaders of tomorrow on anti-bullying and inclusion-based programs. 

Victor Pellegrino
Gala Sponsor, BMO's Regional President of Quebec & Eastern Ontario, Victor Pellegrino, addresses the crowd on the importance of the PTBM organization and anti-bullying and inclusivity programs. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @

After attendees were ushered into the hall, entertainer George Thomas had guests dancing the night away, creating a positive atmosphere and putting supporters in the right mindset to donate to the PTBM organization. 

The 9th annual gala grossed over $125k through a virtual silent auction – which was accessible by non-attendees and pledges – as well as from three headlining live auction packages. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the gala go towards anti-bullying programs, student grants and the PTBM Annual Youth Day. 

Attendees Dancing
Attendees dance to the energetic tunes of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline and 50 Cent's In Da Club. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @
Auction Items
Auction items on display for attendees to browse and virtually bid on. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @

During dinner, the crowd listened to two guest speakers, Margherita Bastianelli and Dilan Dongmo, alums of St. Pius Catholic High School and recipients of the PTBM student grants. Bastianelli and Dongmo attested to the impact that the grants have had on their school and community and the importance of the Bullyfree gala in raising the funds for the grants. 

Notable attendees included former Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda, as well as Kanata South Councillor Allan Hubley and his wife Wendy, long-time supporters of the cause and the PTBM organization.

Guest Speakers
From Left, Dilan Dongmo and Margherita Bastianelli, alums of St. Pius Catholic High School and recipients of the PTBM student grants. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @
Erik Karlsson and Allan Hubley
Table 17's 'Champion' gets the energy flowing by dancing with former Senators Captain Erik Karlsson. Seated to his left, Kanata South councillor Allan Hubley and his wife Wendy. Photo Credit: Sarah Bradley @