Handbags for Hospice

Presented by

Lerners LLP

Thank you to our guests, sponsors, donors, organizing committee and volunteers for a record-breaking evening at the seventh annual Handbags for Hospice presented by Lerners LLP on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn.

With a sold-out venue, more than 500 philanthropic women came together to support the work of St. Joseph’s Hospice and raised an incredible $181,000 (and counting!). The funds raised will provide 24-hour care within our 10-suite residence, end-of-life support in the community, and bereavement counselling services to those grieving the loss of a loved one.

Make a Donation

Relive the Excitement

Take a look at the 2019 Handbags for Hospice photo reel thanks to Dana Nosella Photography. Don’t forget to share and tag @sjhospicelondon!

Handbags for Hospice 2019

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Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Handbags for Hospice 2019 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor
Lerners LLP
Gold Sponsors

Winners Logo




CIBC - Logo


Wine Wall Sponsor

Forest City Pool and Patio logo

Silver Sponsor

Live Auction Sponsors





Bronze Sponsors

Scott Petrie LLP

Western ProResp Inc.


DeMelo Law Professional Corporation

Marcus & Associates LLP | Hoare • Dalton

Sifton Properties Limited

Community Partners

Salon Entrenous

LBF Group

Signature Graphics Inc.

Party Girls Company

Talbot Marketing

Horizon Solutions

Dana Nosella Photography


In addition to the live and silent auction, the evening included a heartfelt Fund-A-Need where our guests and donors went over and above helping raise $28,790 in less than 10 minutes to provide professional bereavement counselling for people grieving the loss of a loved one, such as Kate Courey:

“On June 30, 2017, we celebrated the third anniversary of mom’s diagnosis and as she would always say – not fighting, but living. The staff at St. Joseph’s Hospice helped take mom to see her favourite garden and our family was able to savour our last moments together.”

– Kate Courey, Fund-A-Need Ambassador at Handbags for Hospice 2019

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Live Auction

Thank you to our Live Auction donors and purchasers – you helped raise $24,400 for St. Joseph’s Hospice!

Handbags for Hospice 2019 Live Auction Packages

#1: Friends and Foodies

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - Friends and Foodies

Sharing her passion for food and drink, Jill Wilcox, the owner of Jill’s Table, has the hottest culinary cooking class in town, and it’s YOUR lucky day! You and five friends will have a fun and delicious night out with your very own private cooking class hosted by Jill.


  • Private cooking class for six people (3 hours) donated by Jill Wilcox, Jill’s Table
  • Six signed copies of Jill Wilcox’s cookbook donated by Dee and Gerry Remark
  • Six bottles of wine donated by Dee and Gerry Remark

Value: $1,050


#2: Thelma and Louise

You and your someone special are off to a luxury getaway weekend at Ste. Anne’s Spa, voted one of the best spas in Ontario. Throw on your Vuarnet sunglasses and open the sunroof in your choice of vehicle from Jaguar Land Rover London. Once you arrive, pop open your bottle of prosecco and relax at the spa or begin reading your Laurie Elizabeth Flynn signed books over afternoon tea. Whatever you choose – this will be a weekend you won’t forget.


  • Spa voucher, one-night hotel accommodation, afternoon tea and lunch donated by Ste. Anne’s Spa
  • Vehicle of your choice for the weekend donated by Jaguar Land Rover London (Winner must be 25 years of age, have a clean driving record and hold a valid Ontario driver’s license. Vehicle guest drive weekend is restricted to a two-day duration and 1000 km vehicle usage limit. Type of vehicle subject to availability and Go London Luxury Management’s prior approval. All weekend guest drives must be scheduled in advance and are subject to vehicle availability. Expires May 2020.)
  • Vuarnet – Rag and Bone VL0002 sunglasses donated by Old North Optometry (This frame is one of their limited edition collaboration with Rag and Bone!)
  • Vuarnet – VL1616 sunglasses donated by Old North Optometry (Vuarnet sunglasses are made in France and feature some of the best mineral lenses available. They have been in production for over 60 years and are also well worn in the movie industry. You can see Jeff Bridges wearing them in the Big Lebowski or Daniel Craig – as James Bond – in Spectre or Jake Gyllenhaal in Everest. This line is available exclusively at Old North Optometry.)
  • Two signed copies of “The Girl Lied to” and “Firsts” donated by Author, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, for you and your travel partner to read and swap
  • Bottle of prosecco donated by Ann Marie and Markus Brunner

Value: $2,050

#3: Be Legendary

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - Be Legendary

Louis Vuitton – Neverfull ($1,909), donated by St. Joseph’s Hospice Board of Directors

The legendary Neverfull is always exactly what you need it to be. Spacious but not bulky, structured yet supple, at home on the town or in the country. Cinch the side laces, and voilà! it’s a sleek city bag. Loosen them and you have a chic, practical tote. The slim leather handles fit over the shoulder or on the arm. Stars overwhelmingly favour this monogram canvas tote when jet setting. From Jane Fonda to Reese Witherspoon – join them in the air with your Louis Vuitton Neverfull.

Jean Philippe Joly – Elle ($649), donated by Old North Optometry

Jean Philippe Joly prides himself on exclusivity. With his bold designs and rich colours, these sunglasses are sure to turn heads whenever they’re worn. His focus is to create unique works of art, unlike anything in mainstream fashion and each pair is handcrafted in Italy and France. Throw on your shades, grab your Louis Vuitton, and be prepared to dodge the paparazzi at Pearson.

Value: $2,558

#4: Rebel Rockstar

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - Rebel Rockstar

Valentino – Rockstud ($3,200), donated by WINNERS

Just the right size for carrying, yet not too small to accommodate your essentials. This medium black leather Rockstud tote will carry you through the seasons in polished style. The dual rolled top handles and optional studded strap lend even more versatility to a tote. It can add a fashionable focal point to your working wardrobe, or perfectly complement your rock and roll look.

Vinylize—AC/DC Hell ($725), donated by Old North Optometry

#wearthemusic with Vinylize – handmade in Hungary, these sunglasses are made from upcycled Vinyl records. Created in partnership with AC/DC, this particular line is made from original pressings of their famous “Back in Black” album. This pair is named AC/DC Hell after the song “Hells Bells” with the AC/DC symbol on the side. This line is available exclusively at Old North Optometry.

Value: $3,925

#5: Día De Los Muertos

Dia De Muertos - Handbags for Hospice 2019

Hot, spicy, salty, sour – taco ‘bout a party! Get your closest friends together for a flavour fiesta at your home.


  • At-home catering for up to 12 people with Chef Chad Stewart. Chad will provide a high-end taco party experience out of the mobile eatery food truck from Field to Fork Catering (Booking Fall 2019. Date must be agreed upon with Top Shelf Distillers.) 
  • Top Shelf Distillers’ mixologist, Raven Brown, will host the bar and serve up libations featuring the signature cocktail, Moon Over Mexico, crafted with Reunion Moonshine. Sip sip óle! (Bar service for up to 12 guests. Date must be agreed upon with Field to Fork Catering.)
  • Variety of delicious desserts from Le Petit Paris

Value: $2,000

#6: KAN I Come Over?

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - Kan I Come Over?

Fendi – KAN I ($2,300), donated by WINNERS

“It” girls and “It” bags – a match made in accessory heaven. Released in 2017, the Fendi KAN I skyrocketed in popularity. The KAN I gives an ode to elegance and beauty with a focus on fine detail and Italian craftsmanship. This brown and black leather shoulder bag features the trendsetting double logo stamp on the front, multicoloured pyramid stud embellishments, and a chain strap. Personalize it to your heart’s content by adding bag charms, furry friends, and the still-coveted Strap You handles. Combining supreme femininity with a playful twist, this bag is perfect for London’s “it” girl.

Mykita – Rolf ($604), donated by Old North Optometry

Meticulously handcrafted in Germany, the classically designed Mykita Rolf gold aviators are supremely light with a flexible metal frame. The openly displayed hinge is a hallmark of Mykita design and a perfect pair with Fendi’s modern elegance.

Value: $2,904

#7: The Icon

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - The Icon

Chanel – Flap Bag ($4,605), donated by Lerners LLP

Alongside the Hermes Kelly, the Chanel Flap Bag is the most famous, recognizable, chic and elegant piece in accessory history. Buying one is an investment not only financially but from a style perspective; this bag will never date, and will always make you feel like a million dollars. This iconic piece in cream is breathtakingly beautiful – if you have to own ONE bag, this is it!

Oliver Goldsmith – Sophia (1958) ($388), donated by Old North Optometry

Think 20th-century icons. Audrey Hepburn. Grace Kelly. Peter Sellers. Michael Caine in his signature black spectacles. They all have one thing in common, Oliver Goldsmith. In the second half of the last century, when it came to eyewear, OG was synonymous with stars and style.​ Named after Sophia Loren, these elegant black and blue cat eye frames take their rightful place as an OG icon with little competition. This line is available exclusively at Old North Optometry.

Value: $4,993

#8: 50 Shades of Grey

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - 50 Shades of Grey

Yves Saint Laurent – Jane Tote ($2,500), donated by WINNERS

Established in 1961, Saint Laurent is coveted for its mix of Parisian elegance with contemporary design. Crafted in smooth butter-soft leather, the clean lines and geometric shape of this medium charcoal Jane Tote defines it as a classic. Made in Italy and trimmed with silver-tone hardware, this must-have handbag features two top handles, a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap, a detachable logo luggage tag, two main interior compartments and one zip compartment. Yours to carry for a polished everyday look.

Mykita – Mareika ($641), donated by Old North Optometry

Hand-assembled at the modern manufactory in Berlin, the Mykita Mareika sunglasses are made from stainless steel sheets less than 0.5 mm thick. Pair these slate grey sun specs with your YSL charcoal bag and you’ll be beaming 50 shades of grey.

Value: $3,141

#9: Backstage with the Arkells

Handbags for Hospice 2019 - Backstage with the Arkells

This is your chance to meet one of the hottest bands in Canada and Juno Award winners – Arkells! You and your bestie will travel easily with a $500 VISA gift card for a concert date of your choice PLUS a backstage meet and greet.


  • Two concert tickets to a date of your choice donated by George Hamzo, Lerners LLP and Nick Dika, Arkells (Note upcoming Toronto date of June 22, 2019 – all other dates outside of Ontario)
  • Backstage meet and greet with the band donated by George Hamzo, Lerners LLP and Nick Dika, Arkells
  • $500 VISA gift card donated by Dee and Gerry Remark

Value: $1,500

#10: Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Classic – fun – close: everyone loves a sunny afternoon at the Skydome (for the younger folks, Rogers Centre). You and three friends will get to the 416 in style with your choice of vehicle from Courtesy Ford Lincoln, enjoy one-night accommodation for four in two Fairmont Luxury rooms at the Royal York, dinner at Chefs Assembly, along with premium seating at a Toronto Blue Jays game.


  • Having recently completed a half billion dollar renovation; Toronto’s landmark hotel is the gateway to your essential Toronto experience. Enjoy one-night accommodation in two Fairmont Luxury rooms donated by the Royal York
  • Four tickets to see the Toronto Blue Jays versus Baltimore Orioles (10 rows behind the Jays dugout!) on Friday, July 5, 2019, at the Rogers Centre donated by Steve Harris, Harris Funeral Home
  • Toronto Blue Jays gear valued at $100 donated by Dunny’s Source for Sports
  • $200 gift card to Chefs Assembly donated by Dee and Gerry Remark
  • Weekend car rental donated by Courtesy Ford Lincoln
  • Bottle of Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky donated by Kevin Bertoia, TD Canada Trust 
  • Parking expense for the day donated by Dee and Gerry Remark

Value: $2,295

#11: Hockey Night in Canada

Now is your chance to be part of Leafs Nation! With seats ten rows from the ice, you’ll be able to smell the sweat.


  • Two Toronto Maple Leaf tickets – choose one of five possible weekday games. Section 110, Row 10, Seats 3-4 donated by Jeffrey Dallner, CIBC (Seats 10 rows from the ice with the opposition goaltender in front of you for periods 1 and 3. Gameday to be determined mutually between both parties.)
  • Signed Toronto Maple Leaf jersey donated by Nazem Kadri
  • Car rental donated by Audi of London (Winner must be 25 years of age, have a clean driving record and hold a valid Ontario driver’s license. Vehicle guest drive weekend is restricted to a two-day duration and 500 km vehicle usage limit. All guest drives must be scheduled in advance and are subject to vehicle availability. Expires May 2020.)

Value: $2,000

What’s In Your Handbag?

Short interviews with fun, community-minded women from Lerners LLP. Find out what they can’t leave home without. 

What's In Your Handbag

Jane Scholes – Associate, Lerners Lawyers

Jane Scholes

I’m a lawyer at Lerners LLP practicing health law (working with regulated health care professionals), and commercial litigation including employment law.

Fun Facts

  • I had the opportunity to go to the Supreme Court of Canada on a recent case dealing with an interesting technical issue in administrative law
  • My fiance proposed to me on a suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps, and I almost dropped the ring!

Favourite Part of Handbags for Hospice

I went to Handbags for Hospice for the first time last year, having just moved to London. The live auction was incredibly fun! I was a bit shy and wanted to bid on a beautiful Yves Saint-Laurent handbag. I didn’t place a bid and still kick myself every day for not doing so (but I’ll definitely be bidding this year!).

What’s In Your Handbag?

I love my very functional Kate Spade, it fits everything I need, including:

  • Wallet
  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Snacks (always!)
  • Lip balm
  • Tylenol
  • Hairbrush
  • Book
  • Reusable water bottle and coffee mug

Also, love how it fits my laptop in a pinch!

Sarah Martens – Partner, Lerners Lawyers

Sarah Martens - Lerners LLP

I’m a partner at Lerners LLP practicing in the area of health law. My work includes assisting regulated health care professionals with matters before their regulatory colleges, defending them in lawsuits, and providing advice on a variety of topics such as privacy matters and mandatory reporting obligations.

Fun Facts

  • I competed in the Ontario Winter Games for Power Tumbling in gymnastics
  • I coach gymnastics for 11 years and competed for many, many more
  • I have never broken a bone despite my lengthy competitive gymnastics career

Favourite Part of Handbags for Hospice

Everything – all of the bags! I love the positive energy you feel in the room and how much fun everyone is having. All of the ladies in the office look forward to the event every year.

What’s In Your Handbag?

I love my Burberry ‘Banner Bag’! It’s a classic style, large enough to fit all my stuff:

  • Umbrella
  • Cell phone
  • Lipstick and lip chap
  • Wallet
  • Kleenex
  • Band-aids
  • Nail file
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tetherwood sunscreen (which I am in love with)
  • Snack
  • Business cards
  • Mirror
  • Glasses cloth
  • Keys
  • Pack of gum

(and I usually find a misplaced cat toy of some kind hiding in my bag but not today…thankfully)

Kimberley Munro – Senior Partner, Lerners Lawyers


My name is Kimberley Munro and I’m a Senior Partner at Lerners LLP practicing personal injury litigation.

Fun Facts

  • Been at Lerners LLP since 1988
  • Breed and show Arabian horses
  • Drove in a demolition derby

Favourite Part of Handbags for Hospice

The silent auction – it’s low key shopping at its best. With a handbag for everyone, you have plenty of time to bid, chat with friends, nibble on great food, and sip wine.

What’s In Your Handbag?

It’s a Kate Spade ‘Work Tote’ in pistachio blue, which perfectly holds my:

  • Sunglasses
  • Six shades of pink lipstick
  • Essential oils
  • Hair tie
  • Smartphone
  • Corkscrew (never know when you’ll meet the perfect bottle of vino!)

Shauna K. Powell – Partner, Lerners Lawyers

My name is Shauna K. Powell, and I’m a Partner at Lerners LLP practicing personal injury and health law.

Fun Facts

  • I have been practicing law for 20 years and have only worked for Lerners during that time
  • I have taken three helicopter tours; 1. Off the Coast of Maui 2. Glacier in Alaska and 3. To the base of the Grand Canyon last month
  • I have two boys so spend most of my free time on soccer pitches and at skate parks

Favourite Part of Handbags for Hospice

I love Layne, The Auctionista. It’s always a ton of fun to watch her!

What’s In Your Handbag?

My bag is Kate Spade, and I always have:

  • Seasons tickets to the London Knights
  • Lancôme Mascara – it’s the best!
  • Sunglasses
  • Hair Brush
  • Wallet
  • Phone (and charger)
  • Keys
Yola S. Ventresca – Partner, Lerners Lawyers

My name is Yola S. Ventresca, and my practice is focused on health, labour and human rights law.

Fun Facts

  • I am a diehard and long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan
  • I having an unhealthy obsession with US politics
  • I booked the morning off to watch James Comey testify
  • I likely own more pyjamas than suits

Favourite Part of Handbags for Hospice

I love the Live Auction. It is so exhilarating, and two of my favourite purses are from this part of the event.

What’s In Your Handbag?

This is my everyday bag.  It is a Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in Damier Ebene. In my handbag, I have:

  • A toy from my four-year-old daughter. She doesn’t like me to leave the house without a friend or toy.  I have also found socks, snacks and notes from her in my purse.
  • My “forever loyal” towel from game six of the Toronto/Boston series I was lucky enough to attend with my sister.  It was heartbreaking.
  • My phone with the Kate Spade case that I absolutely love (I have an unhealthy relationship with my phone/e-mail too).
  • Michael Kors wallet – a beautiful gift from my husband.  I love the colour, and it holds all my stuff so well.
  • My keys – I’m impressed that I have them, they are constantly somewhere they are not supposed to be!
Natalie Carrothers – Associate, Lerners Lawyers

My name is Natalie Carrothers, and I’m an Associate Lawyer at Lerners LLP (and the Chair of the Handbags for Hospice 2019 Event Committee). My practice includes health law, employment law and human rights law.

Fun Facts

  • I’m an avid traveller. Some of my favourite places have been Bangalore, Dubai and Iraq.
  • I have a rambunctious one-year-old golden retriever named Murphy.
  • My guilty pleasure is watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette with my husband, Hawkar.

What’s In Your Handbag?

The Chanel Flap Bag is my favourite item on the luxury lineup at Handbags for Hospice. If I’m the lucky winner, it will probably carry:

  • Car keys;
  • Lip balm;
  • Gum;
  • Favourite shade of lipstick;
  • Headphones;
  • Dog treats;
  • Protein bar (for my husband when he gets “hangry”);
  • Work and personal cellphones; and,
  • Currency from another country leftover from my last trip.

2019 Committee

St. Joseph’s Hospice relies on the dedication and support from volunteers. Thank you to this year’s Handbags for Hospice Committee:

Natalie Carrothers, Chair
Deanna Baldwin
Karen Benke
Ann Marie Brunner
Jenna Cane
Jennifer Channer
Cassandra DeMelo
Sarah Dyck
Joanne Flick
Kaitlyn Harper
Diane Jamieson
Hilary Jenkins
Emily Loreto
Lori Schmidtke
Ashleigh Sutherland
Tammy Thompson
Yola Ventresca

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